Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ottawa Venus: Sarah Chalke

Trying to find a Venus born in Ottawa has been something of a challenge! However we present Sarah Chalke an actress in yet another American TV series we don't know: Scrubs, in which she plays a lady doctor. Again she has a long list of TV and film credits for productions we have never heard of, let alone seen.

Anyway, she is a rather strapping 5'8" tall and likes hiking, kayaking, snowboarding and skiing. Phew, she sounds exhausting!

She has that girl-next-door quality, although she is now 33, poor old thing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pin Up Venus 3: Behind in her Packing by Joyce Ballantyne

Behind in her Packing (1954)

Experiencing the chaotic scenes on Thursday last as B, in a state of lacy dĂ©shabillĂ©, attempted to pack all of her clothes plus all of her (considerable) shopping into the world’s smallest suitcase reminded us of this pin up painting by Joyce Ballantyne.

Joyce Ballantyne

Joyce Ballantyne was born in Norfolk, Nebraska. She had always liked drawing and made paper dolls as a youngster which she sold for $1 a time. She entered many art contests and won a scholarship to Disney’s school of animation as a teenager. Once they discovered she was a young woman, however, Disney rescinded the scholarship.

She attended Nebraska University and outside of her course work she painted murals for cinemas and department stores. She also learned to fly. She left university to study commercial art at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She joined the commercial firm Kling studios where she painted maps and illustrated a dictionary. With so many male artists being drafted in WW2 it became easier for a woman to get ahead. Joyce moved to another studio, Stevens/Gross, where she remained for a decade. One of her fellow artists there was Gil Elvgren (more on him another time) who had been one of her teachers at the Academy of Art. It was Elvgren who introduced her to top pin-up firm Brown and Bigelow. She was soon awarded the honour of her own 12 month calendar published by Shaw-Barton in 1955 From which our top picture comes).

Another of the Shaw-Barton calendar paintings

It was so popular that it was reprinted many times. Ballantyne also did advertising illustrations for Dow Chemical, Schlitz beer (she used her second husband as the model) and Coca-Cola. She painted pin ups for other calendar companies, Esquire and even Penthouse, although she refused to do nudes.

Ballantyne's pitch winning sketch

In 1959 Coppertone suntan lotion asked a series of illustrators to submit sketches for their new poster campaign. Ballantyne, who was a strikingly attractive woman, had often used herself as a model for her pin up pictures and for this pitch she turned to her three year old daughter, Cheri (“because she was available and because she was cheap”).

Cheri poses for the picture that will haunt her for life

She won the contract, which paid a rather worthwhile $2,500 and created one of the most famous advertising images ever.

Joyce Ballantyne in her eighties

The dog was modeled on a neighbour’s cocker spaniel although it was changed for the final painting. Later the original was lost in a fire and Ballantyne earned another $2,000 to recreate the painting. Interestingly, in the second version the little girl is less exposed.

The second version of the painting

Carmen Electra for Esquire

The image has been much parodied including this rather fine one of Carmen Electra for Esquire.

Another take on the painting

Ballantyne and her husband moved to Florida in 1974, a place she initially hated, preferring the big city atmosphere of Chicago and New York where she used to liberally down Martinis in the company of other artists and creative types.

Ballantyne at the age of 86. A fun lady by all accounts!

She died in 2006 at the age of 88.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Montreal Venus: Emmanuelle Chriqui

Chriqui looking cheeky

As we travel around North America for the next couple of weeks we feel it is only fair to present some fine examples of womanhood from the cities we are visiting. Currently, Agent Triple P is in the city of Montreal; somewhere we have a great deak of affection for. Not long ago it was voted at number 8 by AskMen.com in the list of cities with the most attractive women. After a walk around the sunny city today we cannot disagree.

Does she look good in a white vest? Certainement!

So, to start us off, here is someone of whom we had previously been unaware: Miss Emmanuelle Chriqui who was born in Montreal in 1977. Her origins are Moroccan Jewish, like Triple P's particular friend K.
She has appeared in many TV series and films; none of which we have seen and most we have never heard of. Apparently, though, she is contemplating that thing that will cause her to be hated by Canadians everywhere; applying for American citizenship.

We do like a girl with a large...nose.

It's very important for an actress to display her strengths

A very nice back as well...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pin Up Venus 2: Siesta by David Wright

To celebrate a record number of visits yesterday (361) we bring you another classic pin-up from the 1950s.

We have featured the work of David Wright (1912-1967) before, with one of his "lovelies" produced for The Sketch magazine from 1941 until 1951.

After he finished at The Sketch he worked for Men Only, which was a very different sort of magazine than it became under Paul Raymond, who took it over in 1971. Originally founded in 1935 by C Arthur Pearson Ltd this was a pocket (roughly A5 size) magazine featuring fiction, humour and artistic pin ups. Wright's pictures for Men Only (he also produced illustrations for Esquire and Playboy) could be rather more daring than they had been for The Sketch. At the time Wright produced this painting in 1953 Men Only was still being published in the smaller format; not expanding to full size until the mid-sixties.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Centrefold Venus of the Month 4: September - Evelyn Treacher

First US Penthouse Centrefold

Forty years ago this month Penthouse launched in the United States (in fact, if it's anything like now, the magazine would have been on sale in August but it was dated September).

Evelyn was, like so many of the early Pets (the Magazine originally launched in the UK in 1965), British and had, according to the text attached to the pictorial, been what was at that time referred to as an air hostess.
Evelyn went on to be the very first US Edition Penthouse Pet of the Year. A very apparent 36-23-36 (look at that hip/waist ratio!) and 5'7" Evelyn was photographed in Nassau, Bahamas by Philip O Stearns.

Philip Olcott Stearns was an American photographer who was born in Detroit in February 1917. The rather patrician Stearns attended the private Brooks School, in North Andover Massachusets, and then Princeton, where he was a successful rower. It was during his time at Princeton that he developed an interest in sculpting. He graduated with a degree in art and archaeology. During World War 2 he was based in the UK as a Captain in in the OSS (Office of Strategic Services; the precursor of the CIA) working with the French Resistance for which he was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He was a great collector of model soldiers and was also very involved in the early days of The Sealed Knot; the English Civil War re-enactment organisation.

Betty di Bugnano photgraphed by Stearns for February 1955

He took the photographs for many books on model soldiers and even wrote his own: How to Make Model Soldiers (1974). Along with this interest he was a top photographer; taking this cover picture for Sports Illustrated in the 1950s, for example.

Another of his books Six Nymphets (1966), is more appropriate to the work he did for Penthouse and, indeed, many other mens' magazines in London, where he lived in a lavish flat in Mayfair. In addition to being a photographer Stearns was the Photographic Director of Penthouse. After he left Penthouse he went on to be editor of miltary history magazine Campaign. He died in February 2000, two days past his 83rd birthday, in Vermont. Interestingly, his death notice (paid for by his family) mentioned his interest in military miniatures and historical societies but didn't mention his photography at all!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Most Popular Items: August

Veronika on top at last!

These are the 20 most popular search results on Venus observations for July. We have moved up to a top 20 as there are so many subjects (well over 100) now being searched in the blog.

1 (6) Veronika Zemanova. Busty Czech girl.
2 (1) Elizabeth Ann Roberts. Teenage Playmate drops from number one.
3 (7) Melodye Prentiss. Back into the top three for Playmate Melodye.
4 (2) The Pubic Wars. A new re-written episode soon.
5 (10) Hyapatia Lee. Part Native American model climbs again.
6 (8) Giselle Bundchen. Brazilian supermodel.
7 (9) Louann Fernald. Playmate from 1979.
8 (4) Venus Observations. People trying to find pictures of girls or a planet.
9 (3) Gloria Root. Planning Playmate drops slightly.
10 (15) Sue and Louise Elvin. Racy penthouse mother and daughter pictorial.
11 (-) Maureen O'Hara. Surprisingly high score for Hollywood star.
12 (14) Flaming June. Lord Leighton’s classic painting
13 (13) Marie-Louise O'Murphy by Boucher.
14 (11) Liv Lindeland. First pubic Playmate centrefold from 1971.
15 (-) Evelyn Treacher. First US Penthouse pet.
16 (-) Stephanie McLean. First pubic US Penthouse Pet.
17 (-) Sharon Johansen. Playboy girl from the seventies.
18 (-) Susan Waide. Naughty Penthouse centrefold from the seventies.
19 (-) Ursula Andress. First Bond girl.
20 (-) David Wright. British 1940's pin up artist.

Maureen. Classic

Top scorer Veronika had more than twice the keyword searched than the number two. Actually, we don't like this such clear domination so hope someone else comes back this month. Highest new entry goes to, surprisingly, Hollywood star Maureen O'Hara who was 89 last month. Biggest climbers are Veronika Zemanova, Hyapatia Lee and Sue and Louise Elvin with five places each. New on the list are Evelyn Treacher, Sharon Johansen, Susan Waide, Ursula Andress and David Wright.

Just below the top twenty but showing strongly are Lady Godiva by John Collier, Penthouse Pet Vida Farthing, Playboy's Susie Scott and Helen Antonaccio.