Tuesday 28 April 2009

Tattoos, News and Meows...

Lots of bits an pieces to pass on this week!

Firstly The Chantilly Belles are performing this Sunday at the Llandudno Victorian Festival! We are taking to the main stage at 8pm. You can find detials about the listings and running order of the weekend at: http://victorian-extravaganza.co.uk

We also have a new Facebook page so if you'd like to become a friend find us at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=1737104154&ref=profile

My nautical tattoo paintings are coming on well! Above you can see how far I'm up to with the Rack and Ruin painting.

I've found I've had to approah this work in a totally different way to my usual paintings; It helps to apply a strong outline first instead of last or if at all, as this really helps give you a better idea of how the finished piece will look and just like a real tattoo the outline is the key element which holds the whole thing together. Also I've had to think about new ways of shading and chosen a very cartoony style which works well. I've also found it's much easier to work flat on these images rather than using a easel.
I am currently working on two other designs which I hope to begin next week some time. Here's a couple of great tattoo studios I've found in my research which you also might enjoy! I loved the work of Gungho Tattoo! Very classical and vibrant and high quality! and Memento Mori have some great examples of nautical art work.

And now for a new section to this blog. I'm calling it 'Rainbow Watch'. A very dear friend of mine has recently commissioned me to paint her little pussycat Rainbow after seeing my painting 'American Curl'.

American Curl 16" x 20" Acrylic on canvas

This isn't the kind of commission I usually take on but as I knew Rainbow personally I couldn't resist! This painting is going to be worked on slowly over the next few months in between other projects so look out for Rainbow's progress in the coming weeks! To see more of my work go to my website: www.gemmaparker.co.uk

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Express Yourself

I went to see The Chantilly Belles film as part of The Lowry's 'Express Yourself' exhibition last week. The show is brilliant and ticks all the boxes of bringing you a family show about all forms of dance, which is one of the reasons I am so pleased with how our film fits in so well! It has always been one of mine and Rene's goals to show burlesque as a true art form that doesn't rely on stripping to make an impression. Although burlesque will always be associated with the risque and avant guarde (as it quite rightly should) it can also be a fun way to explore character, roles and narrative.

Don't miss your chance to see this excellant exhibition and take to the floor for a shimmy yourself!
'Express Yourself' runs at The Lowry until Sunday 27th September and is free! Galleries Open: Sun - Fri 11am; Sat 10am. Close: Closing times daily 5pm.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Art and burlesque update...

A couple of things this week: Firstly Rene La Rouge, the other half of The Chantilly Belles burlesque double act, was interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester last week about our inclusion in The Lowry's new family dance exhibition 'Express Yourself'. This new show has a brilliant film about us and our act and runs until 27th Sept!

On the art front I have a new picture to show you how the Rack and Ruin
nautical tattoo inspired painting is coming along. It's a bit old now and so doesn't fully show where I'm up to right now. I'm considering adding a rope motif border to the central oval. More to follow!

Tuesday 7 April 2009

The Chantilly Belles roaring weekend!

We are still getting over our massive weekend including; a visit to North Wales to see Scarlet Fever and be photograohed by the hugley talented Candee Photography and then a headline performance in Oxford's O2 Academy.

As you can see from the photo above the shoot went incredibly well! We all had such a laugh and both subjects and photographer enjoyed ourselves as we frolicked around the top of the Welsh mountains taking it in turns to hunt one another and more! You can see more of the photos at Candee's Flickr account and soon on The Chantilly Belles myspace page.

Our trip to Oxford was also brilliant. Not only did we get to spend time with Oxford's best D.J Nelly B Page, we also had a fab time performing at Trashy for it's 1940's themed night. Even after getting off stage and feeling there was no way we could muster the energy to get changed let alone dance, that is exactly what we did. The night was so much fun and we boogied until 3am with the crowd!

A dapper TIM HUGHS gets in the mood for a night of partying - 1940's style

Clark Gable, Bettie Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and frank Sinatra. For sheer style, few decades can touch the 1940's. And while it's movie stars were glamorous and beautiful, it's music was, at best sublime.
Tomorrow, those years of wartime style will be revisited with the first of a series of themed decade nights at Oxford's best-loved club night- Trashy.
The long running club, based at the O2 Academy is turning the clock back to the days of the blitz, rationing and risque caberet, for Burlesque not Bombs.
The night is being presented by resident D.J's Nelly B Page and Tommy Kneecaps, pictured, and features the charms of the Chantilly Belles live burlesque act.
"it's going to be an amazing night", says Nelly over tea at Oxford's Grand Cafe.
The night is the first of a series of monthyly events celebrating music and fashion from the Second Worls War to present day.
"The idea was to celebrate the retro aspect of Trashy and it seemed a great idea to celebrate each decade - starting tomorrow with the 1940's. We have some great music from the decade and we want to dress everyone to dress up"
Nelly has been getting into role by cutting a swish figure around town in a shortened black dress, red stockings and a fascinator.
Tommy, meanwhile s the perfect chap in dapper stripped suit and hat.
"There are so many things people can wear," says nelly. "We want people to have fun dressing up. It's not at all elitist just greay fun. I'm really excited to see what people come up with. the lads can wear suits and military uniforms, while the girls have it easy by just looking glamorous in a dress or corset. And if the boys want to come in a corset and the girls in a uniform, that's cool too. All the bar staff and D.J's will be dressed up - and if you do tooyou will get really well looked after - as well as getting in for free."
So what tunes can we expect?
"There will be all the usual Trashy favourites," she says. "But a few 1940's - style gems thrown in as well - so there could be anything from Frank Sinatra and fred Astaire, to Glenn Miller and Vera Lynn. The 40's had some great tunes like We'll Meet Again, In The Mood, Boogiw Woogie Bugal Boy, and As Time Goes By, from Casablanca.
The D'J set will be interspersed with performances from the Chantilly Belles - featuring Manchester pin-up artist Gemma Parker, one of the country's best burlesque artists.
"I can't wait", says Nelly. "It's going to be sexy, shocking - and very funny!".
Doors open at 10.30pm and the night runs until 3am. Tickets are £6, or free for those in 1940's fancy dress. For details of Gemma Parker, see