Los Angeles Times

Sarah Palin nude painting

Chicago Tribune reporter

Bruce Elliott has painted a nude portrait of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and hung it above the Old Town Ale House, where it's now a prime attraction among his display of more than 200 celebrity portraits and other racy art.

Elliott's wife, Tobin Mitchen, owns the bar on Chicago's North Side,

Palin became Elliott's muse after he saw her on TV.

"I've been following her religiously," he said Monday at the bar. "I had never heard of her before, like everyone else. I find her bizarrely fascinating, even though I pretty much despise everything she stands for."

Despite their political differences, Elliott admits to a bit of a crush on the Alaska governor. He began painting her smile and trademark glasses, he said, before filling in the details: a gun, red high heels, polar bear rug, rugged Alaska landscape and a scared moose. His daughter, who looks a little like Palin and does a great impression of her, served as model for the governor's body.

Since Elliott, 68, hung the portrait Thursday, it's been a steady draw at the dive bar, which is a popular spot for Second City comedians to grab beers and play pinball after shows. But after the image hit the Internet on Monday, interest exploded.

"We got a bunch of people in tonight," Elliott said. "They're coming to take pictures with their camera phones. The photo is all over the place."

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