Nudes and Pinups

Planes, women and automobiles were the artist's favorite subjects. So here are a few of the artist's pin ups and nudes. Media varies, including airbrush, colored pencil, and gouache. The earliest work, Now we gotta be married, dates back to 1934. The most recent work, Nude Model - No 2, is dated circa 1962.

Most were executed during WW II. The work Ballerina was inspired by Walt Disney studios. The 1940 film, Fantasia, featured some very chubby elephants and hippopotamuses dancing ballet and wearing tutus. The artist was amazed that Disney could animate the large animals and make them very graceful. So he practiced drawing very large women in very graceful poses wearing very sexy tutus. This is one of them, without the tutu.

The artist created WAAF and WAAC for himself after he painted similar images on the noses of either B-17s or B-24s at Willow Run Airport or Selfridge Field in 1943. Both are near Detroit,

The work the artist enjoyed most, Rosie the Riveter is displayed in this gallery, His initial inspiration for it came from the famous “We Can Do It” poster by J Howard Miller in early 1942 for Westinghouse. The subject for the poster was a woman operating a rivet gun at the Oldsmobile Assembly Plant in Lansing, MI. At that time, Art Ross was a Creative Designer in the Camouflage and War Services Division of General Motors. His duties required frequent visits to the Olds plant where he quickly learned of the poster. He initially linked it, although incorrectly, to the Federal Government’s new Rosie the Riveter ad campaign. He was fascinated by the propaganda, so he sketched a few of his own Rosies, saving this one and giving away the others. As it happened, the artist produced his Rosie the Riveter in late 1942, over six months before Norman Rockwell produced his Rosie the Riveter for the Saturday Evening Post Decoration (Memorial) Day issue in 1943. Historically, Rockwell’s work is officially regarded as the “First” Rosie. Now we know better, don’t we? Unfortunately, this story is moot. The artist didn't sign or date the sketch.
Copyright © 2007 Ross Limited Editions, Inc.
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