Tag Archives: women

The Feminine Mystique: Pam Hawkes

22 Oct

We are all guilty of over-sharing these days.  Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Four Square, etc., the world has become privy to our innermost thoughts, what we ate for lunch, how many miles we ran that day.  We scoff at reality shows detailing the daily lives of the Kardashanians, Snookis, and Honey B00-Boos of the world.  We wonder, whatever happened to the allure of mystery?  UK artist Pam Hawkes reaches back into the iconography of illuminated manuscripts and Renaissance portraiture to cleanse our palate of the modernly overexposed.

Unbound, oil on copper leaf on board, 61×104 cm

Tracing Mythologies II, oil on copperleaf on board, 62×122 cm

The stillness and serenity of Hawkes’ figures are at such odds with how we live today.  The often classical poses reminiscent of religious iconography of the Virgin Mary and other figures may at first seem foreign to our contemporary eyes.  Yet there is a softness and vulnerability in these women, as if the ancient had come alive and found itself somehow wandering about our modern world.

You Made Me II, oil, beeswax, and dutch metal on board, 30×41

Fading, oil on copper leaf on board, 122×122 cm

There is a sense of bound freedom to Hawkes’ figures, as if they are only just discovering the door to their cage is open.  We wonder why they sit so still, resisting the temptation to be free.  Perhaps they, like us, have grown fond of their cages.

Birdsong, oil on copperleaf on board, 76×122 cm

To see more of Pam Hawkes’ work, please visit her website— a great many gorgeous works to see there!

Artist found via artist Deborah Scott and POETSArtists Magazine.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Mertxe Alarcon

24 Apr

I can’t tell you how much it thrills me to have talented artists contact me to be featured on the blog.  I’m planning to feature Barcelona artist Mertxe Alarcon’s work here at Artsy Forager soon, but I just couldn’t wait to share it with you.  So head over to Escape Into Life today for a little sneak peek!

Self Portrait by Mertxe Alarcon

Mertxe Alarcon on Escape Into Life

Lee Price

10 Apr

Sometimes, I find an artist’s work so powerful, that I can’t write about it immediately.  When I found New York artist Lee Price’s work, I wanted to share it as soon as possible, but just couldn’t write about it yet.  So I featured her on my Artist Watch over on Escape Into Life, where I can simply post images, a bio and a link.

Asleep, oil on linen, 38x56

Having been naturally thin and active almost my entire life, up until recently, I’ve never really had weight issues.  There were times I actually wished to be a little more curvy, more womanly.  But as I approach the big 4-0 next week (!), I find myself struggling more than ever with my body image.  Having listened to every woman I know complain about her body at one time or another, I know that I am not alone.

Self-Portrait in Tub With Chinese Food, oil on linen, 44x44

Lee Price’s work speaks to food obsessions and compulsions so common, especially among women.  Her pastel, candy-colored palette belies the darkness at the heart of each painting.  Her women are isolated, surrounded not by friends, family or lovers, but by piles of food, rarely untouched.

Full, oil on linen, 54x44

Constantly bombarded with conflicting media, we, as women, are often left feeling inadequate and confused.  We retreat into ourselves, indulging when we are alone so that the only judgement we’ll feel is our own.  Will we ever stop condemning ourselves so harshly?

Lemon Meringue, oil on linen, 72x32

Boston Cream, oil on linen, 65x48

For me, its still a struggle to make the right choices.  Gone are the days of being able to eat whatever I like and still be a size 5.  But also gone are the days of eating like a bird and obsessing over the way my body looks in a bikini.  I may be a bit more curvy, but I’m choosing to be happier than ever.  For me, it’s been a choice worth making.

To more of Lee Price’s work, please visit her website.

Featured image is Ice Cream, oil on linen, 62×31.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Lee Price

24 Jan

My post this week on Escape Into Life features an incredibly amazing artist with a poignant story to tell.

Blueberry Pancakes II, oil on linen, 31x64

Don’t miss out on Lee Price’s work.

Lee Price on Escape Into Life

Bathing in Beauty: Nina Nolte

16 Jan

Although I love the cold winter months, for many, January is a tough month to swallow.  All the gaiety of the holidays now in the past, it seems such a long time before the warmth of spring and the ease of summer.  So on what may be for many of you a cold, dreary Monday, I thought a little sunshine and warmth from German artist Nina Nolte may put a little spring back in your socked & booted step!

Forgotten Dreams, acrylic on canvas, 100x16x4 cm

Nolte’s depictions of stylish ladies lounging by the pool recalls, to me, a modern-day version of traditional European works depicting the wealthy socializing and at play, such as Fragonard or Boucher.  The richness of the color ( that yellow! )and details in the folds of fabric bring to mind the sumptuousness of the textiles of Vermeer.

The Days of Wine and Roses, acrylic on canvas, 100x200x4 cm

The works do hearken back in some ways to European traditions, but it is done in such an enchantingly modern, yet elegantly timeless way.

Some of Those Days, acrylic on canvas, 100x160x4 cm

The viewer is given the position of voyeur, thanks especially to the bird’s eye view angle of many of the pieces.  It feels a bit like we’re eavesdropping on some really juicy society gossip!

You Must Believe in Spring, acrylic on canvas, 65x65x4

As Time Goes By, acrylic on canvas, 100x160x4 cm

To bask in more of Nolte’s bathing beauties, please visit her website.  Think of these while you’re sloshing through freezing rain and snow!

Featured image is How Deep is the Ocean?, acrylic on canvas, 1oox200x4 cm.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Resplendent Enigmas: Brad Kunkle

9 Aug

A man gives many question marks, however, a woman is a whole mystery.  ~Diana Stürm

Artist Brad Kunkle is a creator of feminine mysteries.  Haunting, glistening visual fairy tales which are at once throwbacks to the past and yet thoroughly modern.

Candela, oil and silver leaf on wood, 33x32

His work takes inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelite era, as evidenced by the medieval-feel of the compositions, near photographic precision and intricate surface detail.

The Quickening, oil and gold and silver on linen, 44x22

But don’t be mistaken, Kunkle’s figures and compositions are not antiquated, but rather fresh and current.  The paintings are like pages of out a Vogue magazine fairy tale– and I mean that in the best possible way.  These aren’t helpless ingenues, but contemporary women caught up in circumstance.

Afela's Nature by Brad Kunkle, oil and gold and silver on linen, 16x14

The Arrangement, oil and silver leaf on linen, 34x18

These are the modern daughters of Eve, tempted and tempting, the subject of desire and blame.  Filled with sensual strength tinged with sadness.  Kunkle tells the story of their past by placing them in classical compositions and poses, but the elegant background treatments and inherent edginess keep them firmly on current ground.

The Source, oil and gold and silver on linen, 26x18

To see more of Brad Kunkle’s work, please visit his website.  If you’re in the New York area, his work is represented by Arcadia Gallery, where he will exhibit a solo show in Spring 2012.

Featured image is “Girl With Serpent and Pearls”, oil and gold and silver on linen, 25×30.

All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

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