Artist Mary Ann Normandin used one of her husband's eyebrows to paint pictures on pinheads. During the 1950s, she got quite a lot of publicity for this. But today she seems to be entirely forgotten. In fact, I can't find any pictures of her paintings.
Asheville Citizen Times - Nov 30, 1952
Boston Globe - Nov 11, 1953
Apparently she completed four pinhead paintings — the Old Man of the Mountain, an Egyptian pyramid, an autumn scene, and a lighthouse — then she gave it up because it was too emotionally and physically demanding. A 1977 article about her work in the Boston Globe
offered some details:
"It took a total of two years and 5000 hours to complete the four earlier paintings. It took me six months alone to learn how to paint between heartbeats. The slightest movement could ruin a painting."
"I started each one of those paintings about 500 times before I finally got it perfect. It wasn't a simple task..."
Her brush was a hair from her husband's eyebrow, which she still keeps in a small container.
"I would paint one thin line, then let it dry," she explained. "Then go on to the next line. The slightest mistake or wrong movement, and the painting was ruined. You'd have to wipe the pinhead clean, and start all over again."
"I completed four paintings, and tried a fifth. It was supposed to be Lincoln, but the paint blistered, and Lincoln ended up looking like Foodini The Magician, a character they had on television years ago."
"You know, I have a nightmare every once in a while. In it, one of my pins is dropped on the floor and rolls into a crack, and I'm unable to find it."