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Green River Soda Girl


A delightful thing happened one day as I stood at my easel. An old acquaintance happened to be passing by and saw me standing there, wielding my brush, so he stopped in. He does graphic design and marketing work for a number of clients. Among them is the owner of Green River Soda. Are you familiar with it? Around here it has deep and nostalgic roots. People will instantly begin toΒ reminisce about their youth, sitting at a counter in a drugstore while the soda -jerk created this concoction of green syrup with soda. Misty eyed they describe the old glass container that held the syrup, the stool they sat on, everything comes back to them. Isn’t that fun? Β At any rate, the owner wanted to refresh the label design, and they asked me to create this painting. We wanted to be true to the 30’s Art deco design. If you google Green River Girl, you’ll see her. So, that is where I’ve been for the past few weeks, harking back to the wonderful era of Art Deco. Soon, I hope, the owner will come see the painting and approve it. And then, perhaps, my art will appear on the labels of the soda in stores! I’m so excited.

42 thoughts on “Green River Soda Girl

  1. Oh wow! That is an exciting start to the year. Well done and good luck πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you so much, Phil!

  3. I hope it does. Good for you.

  4. Thanks Jim~wouldn’t it be exciting? πŸ™‚

  5. So cool! What a great way to start off the new year!

    1. I know, right? You never know what surprises will wash up on your shore. Thank you so much, Angela!

  6. Very exciting – congrats!

    1. Thank you Eliza. Yes, it is pretty exciting. I’m really bemused by the whole thing.

  7. Oh what fun! Hoping along with you that you get to represent the updated Green River Soda Girl. She looks vaguely familiar to me, but I couldn’t have placed her with the product until you pointed it out. You (as usual) came up with a winner IMHO!!! Hope you’re managing to stay warm.

    1. Yes, isn’t it fun? I’m so tickled by the whole thing. Thank you so much, Gunta!
      We’ve had a crazy winter~50’s, then single digits with a windchill, then 40’s again. Today is a warm one so my son and I are heading out for a hike soon. You’re photos have inspired me to move my search further south and I am finding far more affordable houses in Oregon. I hope you won’t mind if I copy you πŸ™‚

      1. I certainly wouldn’t mind you for a neighbor! But Oregon is such a vast state and there are so many different and diverse climate regions. The coast, where I live has the ideal weather as far as I’m concerned. Mild at both ends. Hardly ever too hot or too cold. But quite a few folks don’t like the misty, damp and stormy winters. I’m just the opposite. I’m not overly fond of a summer that seems to drag on forever without nary a drop of rain.

      2. I’m with you~I relish misty grey weather. I found a little cottage in Powers…are you familiar with it? I wonder whether it is too far inland to enjoy the coastal climate I crave.

  8. Excellent!!!!!! Congratulations! Hopefully it will happen. I don’t know Green River Soda. Is it good?

    1. Well, it’s green! πŸ™‚ Soda isn’t my thing. But I do love the nostalgia of the whole thing. Thank you so much for your comments! πŸ™‚

  9. Congratulations Melissa – this is indeed exciting news. Your contact can’t fail to fall in love with your soda girl as soon as he sees her! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Liz πŸ™‚ Actually, he’s a funny guy. When he came to look at it he said, “Uh-huh, it’s fine” and then proceeded to talk about cars! It really made me chuckle. At any rate, he approves it and now we’re going to show it to the owner. Fingers crossed!

  10. I’d never heard of the soda, but I certainly like the girl, and I’m so happy for you. What a fun project to be working on!

    I learned a few things about the company and the product, but one of the most interesting tidbits I came across was that Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song, “Green River, was inspired by the soda. When I listened to the song and discovered the line “barefoot girls dancing in the moonlight,” I saw your girl,

  11. I confess I’ve been so busy painting her I didn’t spend time researching her. How fun that CCR sang about her!

  12. It’s beautiful and would be a great label! What an exciting way to start the new year. I hope he loves it accepts it!

    1. Thank you Deborah! I hope so too. It is quite a departure for me and was so much fun to work on.

  13. WOOHOO! That is so awesome. I never heard of this brand, guess it isn’t in our neck of the woods. I love this painting, it actually reminds me of a Maxfield Parish style and color – my favorite painter. Congratulations! Best, Kim

  14. He’s one of my favorites, too! That is a big compliment~thanks!

  15. Beautiful, and such an exciting adventure to start the new year.

  16. The upwardly diverging rays that you’ve added made me think of rays of light blue sunshine generated by the yellow orb, with visual echoes below the oval. The addition of the rays to what had been a dark blue shield turned it into a two-tone seashell. And of course the whole emblem now floats in clouds. I sense your excitement.

    Wikipedia notes:

    “Green River soda was first introduced in 1919, by the Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company of Chicago. Prior to 1920, the brewery produced the popular Edelweiss beer. Schoenhofen began manufacturing Green River and other soft drinks in order to survive the Prohibition Era. It was also made by the Sweetwater Brewery in Green River, Wyoming.

    “It was popular as a soda fountain syrup, trailing only Coca-Cola in popularity throughout the Midwest. After Prohibition ended in 1933, the Schoenhofen Brewery continued to manufacture Green River, while resuming the production of alcoholic beverages. The Brewery closed in 1950.”

  17. I appreciate what you’ve said here, Steve. Thanks. The graphic designer and I both prefer the image this way, with a shell instead of those odd shield things. I don’t know when the owner is planning to come see the painting but fingers crossed, he will like it this way as well. You’ve reminded me that I need to line the reflection of the moon in the water a little better. I have also slimmed down her raised arm, which seemed a bit beefy to me. That’s the way it goes, lots of tweaking going on.

    1. Ah, I took the orb to be the sun rather than the moon.

  18. Maybe it is a sun….

  19. Thanks so much for this post. I’ll need to do a little research into the Green River Girl. Great vintage look!

    1. Hi David,
      Thank you very much for your kind comment! I’m glad you like it and are inspired to look into the history of her. It’s fun, isn’t it?

  20. How nice to get an assignment like this, congrats!

  21. Thank you Anarette! You are right, I’m very lucky!

  22. Wow nice One πŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

    1. Thank you so much!

  23. That is awesome, Melissa. I like your design much better with the emblem floating in the sky rather than sitting on something hard to define. So much more ethereal. Have you heard anything about acceptance yet? Good luck!!!!

  24. Thank you Steve. I’m delighted that you like my design better! πŸ™‚ The last I heard, the designer said it had slipped his mind, and that he’d get around to getting the owner in, making it clear that he isn’t the one who is going to pay me. I’m quite bitter about the whole deal and am tempted to paint her out and reuse the canvas. If they ever do darken my door, I certainly hope they don’t dare to suggest I change her in any way.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Melissa. Sometimes these things take a while and some patience. Hopefully the designer will rattle the owner’s cage and things will work out.

  25. I actually saw the owner at the taco place I went to last night and was tempted to go up to him. I think he is blissfully unaware of this~I get the feeling that the delay is entirely coming from the designer for whatever reason. I get temperamental at times like this and think it would be better to just forget about it rather than say something I’ll regret. You’re probably MUCH better at handling situations like this πŸ™‚

    1. Maybe to a degree…I’m learning. I wasn’t specific enough with LLBean when licensing their use for an image, I negotiated an amount for two years but failed to specify that on the actual agreement, and they are still using my image 5 years later. I tried to explain that to the original contact person but met with silence. Experience teaches. πŸ™‚
      LLBean Park Finder

  26. Ah, I’m sorry to hear about that. Yes, experience does teach us.

  27. Great blogpost

    1. Thanks Anthony!

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