Monday, April 4, 2011

Painting of Clothing, Antique Leg of Mutton Sleeve, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Antique Leg Of Mutton Sleeve
8x10 oil on canvas

Antique clothing has always interested me.

Growing up in rural Ontario, I cultivated an appreciation for antiques in general, from furniture to clothing and everything in between.  One of my friends, Mary, lived on a farm in a wonderful old farm house,  just down the road from our home (we lived on what Albertans would call an acreage).  Her home was a thrill to visit (at least for me it was), because it contained wonderful antique furniture, dishes and clothing... and what made it even more magical was that we were allowed to sit on the furniture, use/play with the dishes and wear the clothing!

 Millbrook, the small village situated about a mile down the road, was celebrating its Victorian Heritage, I think the celebration was called 'Frontier Days' and Mary let myself, and a few other girls wear some of the historic clothing so that we could 'dress the part' and promote the celebration.  If I remember correctly, I got to wear a grey pin stripped dress with black edging on the collar, and maybe the sleeves and hem... it was probably 100 years old at that time, in the early '70s.  It was quite a heavy dress, but I loved wearing it.

The 'Leg Of Mutton Sleeve' in this painting is from a photo I took last week while researching clothing from the 1800's.  The actual blouse is linen, and all the little flaws, and stains of age make it all the more precious.  The folds and gathers in the fabric have an organic feel and even though this type of sleeve is called 'Leg of Mutton ' because of its similarity to the look of a certain cut of meat... I think it has the feel of a billowing flower bloom...

This study is for something larger I am working on...

8x10 oil on canvas

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