Eve Plumb painted away the ghost of Jan Brady
Hardly anyone can relate to how indelibly famous the Brady Bunch kids were while they were on TV. Even more than that, they continued to be famous after the show was canceled. There they are, trapped in amber, perpetually adolescent in reruns forever. By most accounts, it wasn't easy to grow up while the public stayed more familiar with who you were as a child.
That was certainly the case for Eve Plumb, who played middle daughter Jan on The Brady Bunch. Worse, she was the actor most closely associated with a catchphrase. Nobody else (except maybe Maureen McCormick) would've grown up with "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" thrown in their face as Plumb did. Even if your name was Marcia, chances are, Eve Plumb heard it more.
So, how do you shake that weird pubescent legacy? Well, it was something that haunted Plumb through adulthood. But, like many of her television peers, she was able to find solace through art. Specifically, Plumb painted, and in doing so, found an outlet that separated her from the character she played when she was younger. In a 2010 article in the Arizona Republic, she spoke about her artwork and the therapeutic nature of making something else.
"It was my mother who first encouraged me to draw and paint," said Plumb. "It was a nice and quiet thing to do. We would be in the car or on sets, and I could just paint to fill my time."
Her then-current collection, "Coffee With..." was an exhibition of mostly still life that depicted the intimate, conversational nature of coffee with friends. For years, whenever Plumb was invited out for coffee, she would photograph the table and translate the image to paintings.
So, Plumb was able to remove herself from the thing that made her famous. But what of the viewing public? Was her audience able to decouple Eve Plumb from Jan Brady when they viewed her art?
"Fans of the show usually come and want to take pictures with me. I'm not bothered by it. If that's what it takes to get people to look at [the art], that's fine.
"I've been fortunate in that people will come out to my shows and look at my art because they know my name."
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