I was given a set of fabric paints — ball-pointed ends sprouting from paint tubes, and a tin plate with cinch ring to hold fabric taut. Of course, I decided to make t-shirts. I would find ideas everywhere, comic strips, advertisements, and a lot straight out of my head.
My “O.K. Cowgirl” t-shirt art is inspired by the kind of stuff I would see as a kid, something like the Kilgore Rangerette shown here at left … more of a Dale Evans than a Gil Elvgren, if you know what that means.
Sometimes I would ride a horse, but you can see by my outfit that I ain’t a cowgirl. I do like the spirit of independence and grit that the genre implies.
In my family, my t-shirt art is dang near famous. We gather every other year for a big reunion, hang out a whole week, and have some fine times. One year, I brought all my paints, told all my cousins that, if they brought me a shirt and an idea, they would get a painting. I ended up organizing an assembly-line crew among my talented girl cousins, and together we finished 28 shirts in that one week. Here we are, showing off about half of them.