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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Big-Eyed Tiki Roadtrip Painting
Big-Eyed Tiki Roadtrip Painting
ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-03-30 8:08 pm   Permalink

Recently, I decided to treat myself, by commissioning L.A. based artist Vicki Berndt to paint a portrait of myself. I had seen a profile about her in Bust magazine, and the Keane-like big-eyed portraits she paints.

After my initial contact, I asked myself, what elements should I add to make this truly representative of who I am. Because I do like taking roadtrips, and one of my all-time favorite destinations ever is the Wigwam Village in Cave City, Kentucky, I asked Vicki if she could paint the 'Sleep in a Wigwam' neon sign and some of the teepee motel rooms in the background.

I thought some more, and said 'Hey, I need a tiki mug in my hand, and a roadmap in the other.' A few days later, the obvious struck me -- I need to be holding Jame's 'Tiki Roadtrip Book' along with my roadmap.

I am very pleased with how this turned out.
Here is the final result.



I framed the portrait, and it is now hanging behind my tiki bar. I am quite pleased with how this all turned out.





It was a real pleasure corresponding with Vicki Berndt through this process - from our intial contact, to exchanging rough drawings, to the last details of making sure the shirt button was the right color. We worked through several draft versions, and she incorporated almost all of my wishes into the painting, and even suggested a few nice touches herself. Vicki even painted, at my request, the tiki with extra big eyes too!

If you're interested in learning more about Vicki Berndt's artwork, her website can be found here ....
http://www.vickiberndt.com/

Vern



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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-03-30 8:59 pm   Permalink

Vern, I am honored and touched that you included this reference to my work in your portrait.

I hope TRT continues to bring you pleasure for many years to come.

And give Vicki my regards on her fine rendering of you

I may have to give her a call myself...


 
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Karbora
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Oct 11, 2005
Posts: 103
From: Orlando, Florida
Posted: 2006-03-30 9:09 pm   Permalink

Super cool Vern......I love the representations in this portrait. It is a perfect fit into your tiki style. Long live road trips!!

Karbora


 
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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3735
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2006-03-30 9:17 pm   Permalink

Vern, that's a great idea and it turned out very nice. Love your bar too, very colorful and alive.
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-03-30 9:56 pm   Permalink

I looked at Vicki's site.

Her prices are very reasonable.

The idea of having one's portrait painted has always appealed to me; it is a very classic and classy thing to do.

This retro-kitch take on it may not end up in a museum, but it would be priceless to see your great-great-great grandchildren having this painting passed down to them, and hearing them wonder aloud:

What's with Great Uncle Vern's eyeballs... did everyone look like that in the 21st century? And what the hell is a Wigwam?



 
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Blowfish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 158
From: Hula-ifornia
Posted: 2006-03-31 08:45 am   Permalink

I read this forum to learn about Tiki history and see what is new in the art arena.... this is an outstanding example of what can be done to combine something modern, personal, and Tiki. I will definitely look into this myself... very cool.


 
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tiki_kiliki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-03-31 10:23 am   Permalink

I love it!! Vern that's fantastic! I've been an admirer of her work for some time now as well.
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ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-03-31 7:02 pm   Permalink

Thanks for all the nice comments. I knew from the start that this had the potential to turn out very well, and your statements of approval are appreciated. A big-eyed portrait sure beats having your high school portrait hanging on the wall!

A painting like this might not fit in a traditional decor tiki room, but it is perfect for my setting, which focuses more on the 60's pop side of tiki, rather than traditional Polynesian tiki. I think of this painting as being somewhat like a tattoo - a mixture of portrait and symbols, declaring how I see myself at a certain point in time, except it is something that I can hang on a wall, rather than carry on my skin. (wouldn't it be weird if I did ask a tattoo artist to tatto the entire thing on my back?)

What is neat is that I have several other thrifted Keane big-eye prints, at least one which is of the exact same size with similar frame and matting -- so someday I imagine that I will place my portrait next to a sad-eyed blonde waif, with tears in her eyes, holding her equally sad cat. And I will be there, offering her a sip from my tiki mug.

I should add that the price I paid for this portrait was a little higher than Vicki's standard price, mainly because of the added detail she put into the painting. This didn't bother me though, as I was willing to pay a bit more to make this as personalized as I could.

I do hope that others choose the path to get a similar painting done. I think a family portrait in this style would look really cool!

Vern


 
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Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1494
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2006-04-04 1:56 pm   Permalink

Oh, Vern, that is SO COOL!!!

Yes, it fits right in with your stairwell d'art, except your portrait is terrific (while those are mostly terrifying)!

A wise gift to yourself
ab
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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1576
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2006-04-04 3:18 pm   Permalink

Vern, that is the coolest thing I have ever seen. Congratulations on a wonderful and personal piece of artwork. I absolutely love it!!! It really looks great in your bar too!

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff


 
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MTKahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 477
From: LB to LA, CA
Posted: 2006-04-04 5:25 pm   Permalink

That is so freakin cool...


 
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congatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2004
Posts: 2460
From: wisconsin northwoods
Posted: 2006-04-05 04:35 am   Permalink

What a cool idea to put yourself and your lifestyle into your home bar...congrats!

 
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tikimug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 751
From: 1217 mi. North of the Mai Kai
Posted: 2006-04-05 05:00 am   Permalink

Hey Vern, you look very wide-eyed and bushy-tailed!

I love it, it came out fantastic and looks great hanging on the wall. Thanks for sharing!
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they are an extension of my soul, a mirror of my DNA,
my worth as an individual


 
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