Remembering Don Featherstone ( January 25, 1936 – June 22, 2015 ), the Plastic Pink Lawn Flamingo Man

People love flamingos! With all my Flamingos In The Bathroom print sales (depicted at the bottom of this post), I wanted to explore this fetish people have with kitschy flamingo themed things and naturally that led me to Don Featherstone, the original creator of the pink lawn flamingo.

Don was a sculptor and after graduating from the Worcester Art Museum’s art school, he began a job designing 3D animals for Union Products. Here he sculpted over 750 molds for the company but it was the pink flamingo he was asked to do in 1957-8 that really took flight, eventually earning him presidential tenure of the company until his retirement in 2000. Unable to obtain a real life flamingo, Don based his blue print from pictures from the popular National Geographic magazines.

Why was the pink flamingo so popular? It was the 1950s and pink was in. Coming out of The Great Depression, Americans saw pink as the new celebratory, up beat, flashy colour of affluence. New homes were filled with Persian pink curtains, flamingo print wall paper, Bermuda pink dishwashers, cherry blossom refrigerators and cotton Candy washer and dryers, even Elvis bought himself a pink Cadillac. Furthermore, after the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 and a row of upscale hotels were destroyed, architects and interior designers rebuilt more modest hotels catering to the working class. These interiors were again dressed in flamingo themed pinks. The 1950s also saw the opening of the Miami Beach hotel: the Flamingo, which added a new element of razzle dazzle to the animal. Along with the new acquisition of wealth, vacationers coming back from Florida also sought flamingo souvenirs.

As luck would have it, it was Don Featherstone, from Fitzburg, Massachusetts, an already avid and prolific sculptor who hit the rising American middle class with just the right thing at just the right time with his affordable, cheeky pink lawn flamingo. A charming character he must have been, they say he kept 57 plastic flamingos on his back lawn coinciding with the year of its creation, 1957. As if that wasn’t eccentric enough, him and his wife Nancy coordinated matching outfits for over 35 years! Picking out patterned flaming fabrics and creating over 40+ outfits together, they must have been quite the sighting.

Along with a delightful domestic life, Don was recognized and celebrated professionally too. In 1996 he was awarded with the Ig Nobel Prize, an annually awarded prize since 1991 for an achievement in a work that not only makes people laugh, but think also. (Ig is a satiric play on the Nobel Prize, taken from the word ignoble, meaning not noble).

To me, the kitschy pink lawn flamingo is a celebration of life and a reminder that life is about perspective. One doesn’t need to venture far for humour and happinesses and that it is something that is affordable, within reach, and can be found right on your lawn.

Leaving behind his trail of pink plastic flamingos on suburban lawns across North America, Don Featherstone died at 79 of Lewy body dementia and although Union Products eventually closed in November 2006, his legacy continues. A New York company purchased the molds and subcontracted production to a Fitchburg company (the place of his death), Cado Products, who eventually purchased the copyrights and plastic molds. To this day, you can now still buy Don’s plastic pink flamingos, usually sold in sets of 2, 1 head erect and nearly 3 feet high and the other bending over to feed, both celebrating fun, both celebrating life.

In case you’re curious, here is my own kitschy Flamingo themed artwork, Flamingos In The Bathroom! -possibly unconciously inspired by Don Featherstone, I remember growing up we had flamingos on our lawn too! Comes in your classic art print, shower curtain, bath mat, hand and bath towels. Click button below.

Flamingos In The Bathroom acrylic on canvas 48 x 36 x 1.5 inches

Celebrating Henri Rousseau!

Happy belated to the late, Henri Rousseau (May 21, 1844 – September 2, 1910) 🥳 A French post impressionist Naive (self taught) painter with a checkered past. Born in Laval, Mayenne, France, after highschool, he spent a month in prison for stealing money and stamps before enlisting into the miliary to shorten his prison sentence. After a year he was discharged on compassionate grounds when his father died and he went back home to look after his widowed mother. During this time he made a living working for the government, working as a debt collector, collecting tolls and taxes on goods entering the country. Although exhibiting talent for art from an early age, he did not start painting seriously until his early 40s. Eventually quitting his job to paint full time by 49, supplementing his income by playing violin on the street and doing covers for journals. After relocating to Montmartre, Paris. In 1908, a much younger, up and coming 27 year old, Picasso discovered his work while shopping for canvases to paint over and was impressed. Picasso even presented him with a mock cardboard medal (sort of a joke), during a party in his honour, inviting Henri into his circle of artistic friends. Henri took the gesture in stride and accepted, graciously.

Henri had a liking for telling fancy stories, claiming he was inspired by the tigers he encountered during his military service in Mexico when in actuality there are no records that indicate he ever visited Mexico. Instead, he mostly studied tigers from the zoo, or from depictions of tigers in books, sometimes reusing the same tiger pose in multiple paintings but mirrored versions of them. Referred as a Naive or Primitive painter, Rousseau’s work neglects the conventional forms of perspective, instead opting to depict a world more from imagination. Jungle plants have known to be large and in Rousseau’s painting’s he depicts this, yet maybe without the experience of being in a real juggle, he sometimes depicts this with overexaggerated houseplants. The teeth of tigers are wrongfully depicted as all are the same size and even the grass by the tiger’s feet are hardly bent as one would expect in real life. Rousseau paints from a child-like imagination and invites us into his world of whimsy.

Although not highly regarded during his time, most art critics made fun of his work rather than praised it, he continued painting anyway and showed at the Salon de la Refuse, Paris’s alternative exhibit for the art that was not accepted into the the mainstream shows.

Living a full life, Rousseau married once in 1868 to his landlord’s 15 year old daughter. They had 6 children together but only 1 son survived before she died in 1888. He remarried 1898. After a full and prolific life, Rousseau died unfortunately penniless at 66 from a blood clot after surgery for gangrene of his leg. He was buried in an unmarked grave and almost to be forgotton at the time of his death -only 7 people attended his funeral. As time passed however, his work gained recognition and in 1912, his body was intered in a proper grave paid by Picasso and his friends to include a huge tombstone engraved with an epitah by the poet, Guillaume Apollinaire. In 1947, his body and tombstone were moved again to Laval Park, in the city of his birthplace.

We salute you Gentle Rousseau you can hear us.
Delaunay, his wife, Monsieur Queval and myself.
Let our luggage pass duty free though the gates of heaven.
We will bring you brushes paints and canvas.
That you may spend your sacred leisure in the light and Truth of Painting.
As you once did my portrait facing the stars, lion and the gypsy.

May Already?!

I sold a very old painting from my Cannibal Series made over 10 years ago! This series did not sell well at first but over the years it’s garnered a cult like following, selling one or two every few years. In the process of actually selling 3 more right now but more on that later! It sold off my Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/LISANGART?ref=profile_header


Got 2 works featured in an article about bathroom art, you can read what they wrote in the pic or visit the link: https://obsessedwithart.com/unique-bathroom-art/

I’m selling my painting The Big (Mama) Goose featured on a mug now! You can easily order it online and it’s perfect for Mother’s Day : ) https://society6.com/product/the-big-goose_mug?sku=s6-10847795p30a27v199


Sold a Flamingos In The Bathroom bath mat too: https://society6.com/product/flamingos-in-the-bathroom_bath-mat?sku=s6-6033372p55a203v508

A work in progress I’m super excited about -inspired from some epic good stuff that’s happening in my life right now. 

Zebra Fur House

I finished a painting!

Zebra Fur House acrylic on canvas 40 x 30 x 1.4 inches 2021 $4500 CAD

A painting of zebras in a mansion of pink fur with the world inside out. This is me finding a place of serenity and beauty. I’ve been having dreams of swimming in fields of colourful fur, it’s nice to hold onto a pretty vision and share it with the world.

Original painting available at:

https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Zebra-Fur-House/672002/8362683/view

Prints available at:

https://society6.com/product/zebra-fur-house_print?sku=s6-19592524p4a1v45

Warthog As A Sneakerhead

The first painting finished for the new year.

An Ugly Animal In A Cute Outfit, the warthog runs from predators rather than confronts and therefore he is a natural athlete and an obvious sneaker head. Decked out in holiday lights he illuminates his shelf of track and field trophies and his famous Basquiat painting. A herbivore as well, included is a salad. Ugly Animals In Cute Outfits: Taking a seemingly unfortunate situation and seeing for what it can be/ truly is: a unique, opportunity, a showing of beauty and glory! Featuring the world’s most underrated animals, be proud of who you are, personality and character go a long way.

All four edges are painted and therefore does not require a frame, complete with hanging wire it is ready for your enjoyment.

Original painting available on:

My SAATCHI ART PAGE: https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Warthog-As-A-Sneaker-Head/672002/8179351/view

My SINGULART PAGE: https://www.singulart.com/en/artworks/lisa-ng-warthog-as-a-sneakerhead-1012857

Prints available on:

My SOCIETY6 PAGE: https://society6.com/product/warthog-as-a-sneakerhead_print?sku=s6-18586967p4a1v45

I’m pretty happy with it, mostly with the track suit and holiday lights. My first time painting holiday lights, I have a feeling more holiday lights are to come!

Happy New Year!

Finished off the old year with 2 painting sales made on the same day, wahoo!

Here is Polar Chair gone to the USA and bought from my SAATCHI ART PAGE: https://www.saatchiart.com/all?query=lisa%20ng

Then to Germany, my largest sale to date Indoor Chameleon In Orange Major bought from my SINGULART PAGE: https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/lisa-ng-7919

Thanks for all the support! I like to make sure I take a last selfie before selling anything for I don’t know when or if I’ll ever see them again. Last couple weeks were crazy busy trying to find enough cardboard to get the shipments out pronto, seems like everything worked out. Just trying to imagine them in their good homes, I miss them already!

California Condor In Fur

California Condor acrylic on canvas 9 x 12 x 1.5 inches 2020 $400 CAD

An Ugly Animal In A Cute Outfit, a carnivorous scavenger appropriately decked out in a fox scarf and mink fur coat. Feat. Albert Bierstadt’s, “Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California,” and Chaim Soutine’s “Carcass of Beef,” two paintings that would make her feel right at home. Included is a taxidermy bunny, a couple left over skulls, an egg tucked away and a bonsai for zen. Known to hide the moon with their expansive wings, painted in is a yellow crescent to carry her belongings. Ugly Animals In Cute Outfits: Taking a seemingly unfortunate situation and seeing for what it can be/ truly is: a unique, opportunity, a showing of beauty and glory! Featuring the world’s most underrated animals, be proud of who you are, personality and character go a long way.

All four edges are painted and therefore does not require a frame, complete with hanging wire it is ready for your enjoyment.

Email lisangart@hotmail.com for questions.


Painting available for purchase at: https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-California-Condor-In-Fur/672002/8117136/view

Proboscis Monkey In A Suit

Proboscis Monkey In A Suit acrylic on canvas 9 x 12 x 1.5 inches 2020 $400 CAD

An Ugly Animal In A Cute Outfit, this one’s in a suit and tie. A sophisticated Proboscis Monkey with a pet turtle and fish, showing off his antique collection and Persian rug. Proboscis monkeys dine on raw fruit and therefore I included a replica painting from one of my favourite movies, The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson whose movie revolves around the painting, Boy With Apple. Complete with Fossil watch, pocket square and rose coloured cuff links, this fella accessorizes in style. Ugly Animals In Cute Outfits: Taking a seemingly unfortunate situation and seeing for what it can be/ truly is: a unique, opportunity, a showing of beauty and glory! Featuring the world’s most underrated animals, be proud of who you are, personality and character go a long way.

All four edges are painted and therefore does not require a frame, complete with hanging wire it is ready for your enjoyment.

All paintings are one of a kind originals.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lisa.ng.372019
Instagram: @lisangart

Free Prints At The Free Library

I came across a free library in my neighbourhood! I didn’t have any books on me at the time but left a little art card. In the least I figured it’d make a good bookmark. Went back a week later to find it missing and all the books all different. Since then I’m hooked, been leaving a different one each time and there hasn’t been a day when I went back and found it still there.

I was trying to match the picture with the theme of the season but the squirrel went fast, well maybe I can do it with the books inside. If anyone knows where else I can find Toronto Free Libraries in the city, let me know I’d love to visit. They certainly have made my daily walks more interesting.

Doors Are Opening!

Yikes! I’m featured in 2 curated collections this month. Both websites have thousands to choose from so it’s always an honour to be selected in a curated collection. They usually drive a lot of attention to my art so if there’s one you’ve been eyeing for awhile I’d act fast before someone else takes it! You don’t want to be that sucker who lives in regret and believe me, I’ve met quite a few ; )

Links are below, take a scroll through to find out which pieces were selected. Lot of good work to peep through too.

Singulart.com curated collection:

www.singulart.com/en/collection/contemporary-canadian-artists-2109?campaign_id=1059&fbclid=IwAR2zddhOu0vo2eVlH2upFnr107xOPs7XLVg-PIH920eZxaN51kTjsUM_7Tk

Saatchiart.com curated collection:

www.saatchiart.com/art-collection/New-This-Week-10-12-2020/153961/389750/view?fbclid=IwAR0GRXoE_lnXGCaBZt0aZRdl_vu8sK8pMBHkeAMZShRClGUIeZ6X1sdFRCo