Bass appears to have been strongly influenced by the circle
of artists that grew up around Haddon
Sundblom. He was a Chicago artist who began his pin-up
career working for the Louis F. Dow Company in St. Paul
during the mid- to late-1930s.
Bass created his own pin-ups for Brown & Bigelow, but he
was then employed by the Louis F. Dow Company as a "paint-over"
artist, commissioned to redo the work that Gil
Elvgren had previously created for the company. Dow
was motivated by economic interests, hoping to earn more
money from such "redesigned" Elvgrens. Fortunately, Bass
was a skilled and sensitive artist: he strove to leave the
faces, hands, skin, and other key areas of the Elvgren essentially
untouched. However, he occasionally had to repaint an arm
or hand because it had to be repositioned to accomodate
a new overpainted image.
Bass' painting style was often compared to that of Elvgren,
Buell, and Ballantyne.
He worked in oil on canvas almost the same size as the others,
ranging from 30 x 24 inches (76.2 x 61 cm) to 28 x 22 inches
(71.1 x 55.9 cm). In the late 1950s, the versatile Bass
did a series of spectacular oils depicting wrestling scenes
that clearly demonstrated his ability to be comfortable
with any subject matter. He created the "Wonder Bread Girl"
in the 1950s using his daughter Nancy as his model. His
portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is in the Smithsonian
Institution in Washington D.C.