I love it!! Someone creating a painting from polish. You could never find all the crazy colors, glitters and shimmers of polish in a paint store. The art isn’t my style but I love the creativity.
Nail polish is the preferred medium for Horn Lake artist
By Barbara Bradley
December 12, 2006
Mary Lola Scott’s paintings may never hang in the Louvre. But artists there had it easy. They worked in oil paint. Scott creates her masterpieces in Revlon and L’Oreal.
Scott, 54, of Horn Lake, paints portraits, landscapes and still lifes with nail polish. She has to paint fast with her tiny nail brush before the quick-drying polish gets hard as cement.
Folks at Ripley’s Believe It or Not say Scott may be the world’s only nail polish master, and have purchased 11 of her works to hang in Ripley museums around the world. Scott has also been chosen from hundreds of contestants to be among the 12 finalists in the Dear Mr. Ripley contest.
At the moment she’s behind a car hurdler who can clear 101 cars. But you can vote for her at ripleys.com. The top three winners get vacations in Niagara Falls and Panama City. The winner will be announced Friday.
It takes about 30 bottles of paint to do an average painting, and no, they don’t chip. “You can’t even sand off the colors,” she said. They cost $500 to $4,000. She sold one recently to a hotel owner.
Scott got into serious polish painting when she moved to Horn Lake four years ago from Atlanta where she lived 20 years. She is married to Jon Scott, 68. She has two grown sons from a previous marriage who also paint and have helped her with some of her larger projects.
Scott was looking in vain for a paint that would make a flower painting glow. She found the answer when visiting a drugstore. “I saw all these brilliant colors, and that was just what I wanted,” she said.
Curious to know if there were fellow nail polish enthusiasts, she checked with Ripley’s. Folks there were excited.
“I’ve been in this business 29 years,” said Edward Meyer, vice president of exhibits and archives for Ripley Entertainment Inc., headquartered in Orlando, “and she’s the only one I’ve heard of who is doing this. You can smell the nail polish.”
He knows of a woman in South Carolina who painted a car with nail polish, he said. “But it was pretty ugly.”
Meyer later took Scott on a tour of Ripley’s warehouse of wonders in Orlando. She was most impressed with a huge painting of a Chinese emperor done on dryer lint.
Scott, who has been selling paintings since she was 15, has an unusual portfolio. She painted a swamp scene mural for the rapper Ludacris, about seven years ago, before he became famous. She painted it “with dead trees” in the hallway of his Fairburn, Ga., house.
Even more ludicrous, was the executive’s office she turned into a spaceship. “He wanted an aging, cracking up spaceship,” she said about the director of an online auto parts company in Lawrenceville, Ga. She painted the huge office in black overlaid with silver and with big windows that showed a meteorite nearly crashing in. Also outside the ship were planets and galaxies “and some of his auto parts swirling around.”
It’s still the first thing visitors to the company want to see.
That was the first time she dabbled in nail polish, she said. She used a metallic polish to create glowing planets.
Scott sees new vistas now. Fish would look great in Sally Hansen’s “prism.” She’d like to do more outer space art too. Maybe in Revlon’s “color beam.”
Scott’s painting is hardly the most extraordinary Meyer has seen in his days at Ripley. That honor goes to a man in Mexico City who painted nine portraits on a house fly with a hair. You could identify the faces.