Originally I called my painted pillows “Dream Pillows” because at the beginning I based the designs on my own dreams. Sometimes the design included well known comic characters like Brenda Starr, Felix the Cat, Little Lulu and heroic figures like Wonder Woman, Mary Marvel and the Phantom. Later pieces were more like visionary fantasies where I used highly recognized trademarks of the early 20th century such as Buster Brown or the Old Dutch Cleanser Girl. Many of the paintings were humorous but others brought up serious issues about environmental crimes such as poaching, gun control and bioterrorism. 


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© 2014 Mary Lou Novak

Basil and Brenda with Black Orchids

15"x15" Acrylic on Fabric Text on Back: I dreamed that I was Brenda Starr and was reunited with my mystery man in a purple room with black orchids. Brenda was my role model in the fifties. She was everything I wanted to be: • Beautiful • Bright • Romantic • Sensitive • Adventurous