“A is for Andrews”
Another in the ABC MUSIC series, the Andrews Sisters.
“No matter how pop tastes have switched from boogie to ballads, sagebrush to sambas, waltzes and calypsos to be-bop, The Andrews Sisters have continued to be faves. In discs, they rank second only to Bing Crosby on the Decca lists.”
— Billboard, 1946
Telling a Story
Growing up we had a cassette tape of Bing Crosby singing Christmas carols and I suppose that’s where my association with the 1940s and Christmas began. No matter what, I must play that recording when the tree gets decked. It changed from cassette to compact disc, and now I stream it. It was that album and Elvis’ Christmas album.
Through the years I’ve branched out to many more artists of the era, and learned that the Andrews sisters music is pretty awesome. It’s fun and swinging, and has outstanding harmonization. What’s not to like?
The gals began their career in homage to the Boswell sisters who preceded them in the 1930s. Later they would sing with Bing. It all comes back to Bing.
(Ps if you have the desire to learn more about early twentieth century era music then I highly recommend this music & history podcast. Bryce Fuqua has been doing this since 2006 & the archive is awesome.)
When I painted this piece in December of 2020 I wanted to create a caricature of the Andrews Sisters that also included the spirit of early Hollywood and the WWII era. I wanted it to be clear right away what time period this is and how – although sisters – each gal has a unique look.
From the ornaments to the wrapping paper, I researched and used patterns, colors and texture borrowed from late Art Deco – early atomic age design. The goal here was simple, bring some of that hot-cocoa-sipping, voices-harmonizing, tinsel-sparkling, wrapping-paper-flying feeling of the holidays.
Most fun of all was creating the girls themselves and their costumes. I love to draw clothing and accessories. From patent leather & pearls, to pompadours & curls, this was a real treat to create.
Special attention was paid to the typography, this is a true vintage font. Look at that “A”!
Look at that “t”! Oh, the angles and curves! (I’m definitely a nerd for type.)
Here’s hoping your holiday festivities are tons of fun, merry & bright,
— Deanna #deannameyer
PS SCROLL ON FOR THE ACCOMPANYING PLAYLIST!
Sight and Sound
Recently I thought I’d share something I started to do: Make soundtracks, or little “mix-tapes” that either directly relate to my piece of art, or, that came to me while painting the piece.
While I work I sing – loudly. I dance too, on occasion. You can think of it as an eruption of emotion into the art. It’s cool actually, pretty cathartic.
Music comes to me. Sometimes it leads me in a way that I know a direction or ‘genre’ I want to head toward. Sometimes it’s a total surprise and comes together at the end. Additionally, by way of Spotify I have discovered so much music, the ways in which one can leap-frog from one musical lily pad to another in this modern era is actually very astounding.
While painting my mind is traveling and sometimes a piece of music will get me to researching, & sometimes it serves as a conduit to learn/find something new. It’s in this sort of spider web-like way that the playlists I make are woven together.
I thought that since I get these sort of, ‘visions of music’, (I don’t know how else to call it) that I ought to create some organized fashion to keep my musical thoughts in order.
These are eclectic collections, and I do intentionally sort the order of the songs, and also tend to insert instrumental pieces for levity.
My Spotify handle is “Deanna, Dammit”
Art playlists will be title “Drawing ____”
In the Details:
•Digital Painting, Yes, this is hand drawn, via an ipad!
•Painting and Text by illustrator Deanna Meyer, of Grease and Grace.
•True vintage fonts used whenever possible.
•Archival quality ink on 100% cotton rag, non-reflective paper for long lasting fade resistance
*Due to differences in monitors or screens, colors may vary in printed form slightly.
— PRINT ONLY, no mat —
Packaged with backing board and protective plastic sleeve.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Hello, I’m Deanna. Creating little worlds is all I want to do.
I spend my days in my illustration studio, surrounded by herbs and antique curiosities, in rural Pennsylvania. I enjoy many interesting adventures with my husband, daughter, and Shmoop, the “Office Cat.”
Since I was a young child, I’ve been creating. Some of my earliest memories are of drawing historic clothing, making fairy tale paper dolls, and designing my own “book covers.”
The work I make is influenced heavily by my affinity for historic eras: Color palettes, patterns, textures, architecture, typography – the list goes on. From Medieval to Mid-Century, I love it all.
If you don’t want to miss anything, follow IG: #deannameyer for illustration and vintage musings. I’m an artist, herbalist, and mother with Multiple Sclerosis & Endometriosis.
I’m also an official artist of the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project.