This recently discovered original oil on canvas painting was created by Arnold Armitage as a pin up calendar commission for The Louis F. Dow company of Saint Paul Minnesota. In the scene, the proverbial girl next door is shown with a deliriously sexy combination of shy modesty and brash sexuality making this an electric version of the pin-up girl "oops moment". An outdoorsy pretty blonde tries to beat the heat on her fishing trip with a quick skinny dip in a clear blue lake. She has discarded her pole and creel, as well as her pink lingerie, though as luck would have it, she's chosen to leave on her backseam silk stockings and heels. This appeared in the 1940s as a pin-up calendar with the title of No Privacy, it was also issued in 1952 as an exhibit card, (a slightly larger version of the mutoscope card that was unique to Louis F. Dow), as part of the Calendar Girls II series.
What first struck us when we saw the work in person is the commanding size of the canvas when compared to the 24" x 30" format Gil Elvgren and Art Frahm favored, and how much fun Armitage seems to have brought to the canvas, capturing the model's initial mischievous impulse perfectly. The detail and technical virtuosity in the skin tones and sexy silk stockings are just top notch - this is a particularly fine example and one of the nicer pin-up paintings we have had the honor of offering for sale.
Arnold Armitage (1899-1991) was a British-born artist and illustrator, best known for his work creating pin-up art for the Saint Paul, Minnesota based Louis F. Dow Calendar Company. He moved to the United States around 1925 and settled in Hollywood, California, working for the Foster and Kleiser Company, which produced billboards. During the 1930s, he developed a reputation as a designer specializing in billboards, and he designed many of these for American corporations.