by Mark Greenawalt

Article written for Swimsuit Illustrated Magazine
June 2002

When you think of Arizona, desert landscapes decorated with saguaro cacti is most likely the first thing that comes to mind.  Maybe you picture coyotes and road runners co-existing with the tumble weeds blowing in the dusty winds.  There is no doubt that the Grand Canyon State offers all of those scenes, but body artist Mark Greenawalt has set out to show another side of Arizona through his intriguing art form.  In this pictorial, open your mind to the southwest's breath-taking bodies of water and the equally breath-taking bodies adorned in painted-on swimsuits.

It's true that there isn't any ocean front property for sale in Arizona, but that doesn't dispel the rumor that there are more boats per person here than in any other state.  California, Florida, and Hawaii seem to steal the spotlight for shoreline photoshoots while the grandeur of cliffs rising out of the lakes here remains a closely held secret of the locals.  The state has also been blessed with plenty of beautiful women, both home grown Arizonians and imports who have moved here for the year-round sunshine or to study at one of the prestigious colleges.

Mark Greenawalt lives in the Ahwatukee Foothills region of Phoenix.  This puts him at about an hour's drive to several lakes formed by dams on the Salt River.  That's close enough for him to do a bodypainting session in the early afternoon and be at the lake in time for a sunset photoshoot.  "Most of the swimsuit bodypaintings take about two hours to complete," he says, "and several coats of the latex body paint is applied so that the model can travel to the location without messing up the paint job."  Once at the lake, there are many onlookers who are curious about the photoshoot, but Greenawalt notes that none are aware of the fact that the models are only wearing paint.  The illusion, especially from a distance, is totally believable.  When asked if she felt like she was clothed, fashion model Alison said, "You don't feel as though you are unclothed one bit.  I actually had people ask me where I got my swimsuit after we had been shooting--can you imagine that?  I was completely unclothed besides that latex painting! But you would never have known." 

After hand picking models from local agencies and web modeling sites, he explains his technique to them and shows them a photoshop rendered rough draft of the swimsuit.  How do you talk a gorgeous model into undressing and letting you paint them you ask?  Mark's method is to lead them to his website at to view his impressive portfolio of completed bodypaintings and let the artwork do the talking.  It apparently works since he has had the opportunity of working with well over 30 models in the past two years.  Web model Kristi Curiali runs a pay site and said that her decision to be a canvas for Greenawalt was "For the experience.  Plus, Mark's work is extraordinary, who wouldn't want to be a part of that.  In fact I am trying to find some time and money to have him paint me exclusively for my site."

The paint that is used for these projects is called Deviant Liquid Latex.  The company is based in San Jose, California and after seeing the results of what Greenawalt was doing with the product, they offered him an endorsement.  They also introduced him to their line of stardust to give the latex a metallic sheen as seen in the photos of Rachel DeBoer.  In general, the latex is applied to the model's skin using a foam brush.  Greenawalt has incorporated some of his own techniques into his sessions including the addition of real zippers or rings that are set in place with the latex.  Another innovation that he has developed that shifts the session from eroticism to a more professional setting is to make a wearable thong with the latex by painting the pattern on a sheet of tin foil and then, once it is dry, he peels off the paint and adheres the "thong of paint" to the model.  "You mean they're not wearing anything?" observers ask and Greenawalt replies, "Nothing but paint!"

When the models got in the water, the latex didn't wash away.  Instead the latex has to be peeled off.  Some say it feels like a band-aid coming off, while LeeAnne Savage of Tucson says, "First time was a breeze. But now I'm having a helluva time getting these blue checkers off!!"  In contrast, Greenawalt laughed that Kristi's stripes were falling off one by one during the photoshoot, no peeling necessary.

Thus far, he has shot at Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Lake Pleasant, Salt River, Agua Caliente, and several backyard swimming pools.  On the bodypainter's agenda is to photograph his next swimsuit models by the London Bridge at Lake Havasu, by the beautiful rock formations of Lake Powell, and by the bridge at Roosevelt Lake.  "We may not have the Atlantic or the Pacific, but there is no shortage of spectacular water fronts here in Arizona.  Take some of the finest swimsuit models on the planet, add a touch of paint, and you've got a slew of phenomenal photo opportunities."

If your interested in seeing more of Mark Greenawalt's work, visit his website at .


Click on the pictures below for galleries and additional information about each bodypaitning session.

   Gummi Girl in liquid latex piano keyboard          

Click the image below to visit the Swimsuit Illustrated website.


This project is sponsored by Deviant Liquid Latex paint.  Visit Deviant on-line by clicking on the the logo below.



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This page has been designed and maintained by FUTURE-CLASS X PUBLISHING.
Unless noted otherwise, Photography and Artwork by Mark Greenawalt c2002

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