Joyeux anniversaire Maman

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Family illustrations, Fantasy league, Illustrations, Other family portraits

Today is my mum’s birthday – and it was high time I paid my dues. Happy birthday Maman!!!

Maman was a dancer, then a dance teacher by trade, she’s actually still teaching for the Dance Diploma in Toulouse.

She is also a bit of a fox – she must be about 19 in this photo. She was a dancer for Roland Petit’s Les ballets de Paris.

Irina Radkiewiez dancer

She even ended up in a couple of films: Black Tights (Les collants noirs), a collection of 4 ballets, featuring Cyd Charrisse, Maurice Chevalier, Moira Shearer, directed by Terence Stamp, with costumes by Yves St Laurent. She’s one of the dancers in this actually really good and yes, funny numbers (funny ballet? yes, it’s possible!) – and even gets a singing part about eating prawns in a cinema – lyrics courtesy of my favourite French writer, Raymond Queneau. At 6:29 here.

She’s also keeping company to Paul Newman, Sydney Poitier and Louis Armstrong in Paris Blues, smoking a fag (mum!!) at 0:11 here and chewing gum at 0:45 (equally unlikely).

So here’s my version of the image – it’s a little dreamy and a little fairy tale like, and I’m pretty chuffed with the end result. For my maman…

Irina gold




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Karuski is the nom de pencil for me, Katherine Mengardon - I am a fan of all things 1960s, CAKES, obscure indie pop bands, children illustrations, bad puns and cats. Any spare time goes towards baking mad cakes, drawing families and catified musicians. Find me here too:

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