Friday, July 24, 2009

Woman blogging about women painting women.

Yes, hi there, I'm still trying to catch up on portrait stuff. Sigh. Hence the absence from this here blog. In the meantime, during my non-portrait painting time, I've been really really enjoying posting artists to my friend Sadie's blog "Women Painting Women." There's an amazing variety of work out there, so many women artists, so much great work being made. Super-inspiring. Anyway, along the way, I've collected some observations (nothing profound, just thinkin'):

1.   A lot of the paintings I post, coincidentally, are self-portraits by the selected artists. I don't know if this is a factor of gender – if women are more likely to self-reflect in this way than men, for example – or if it's just a part of being a figurative artist... because it sure makes it easier to find a model, after all. Hmm.
2.   Maybe I'm dense and missing something, but I find most often that if you put a painting of a female figure in front of me, I'm not able to correctly guess whether it was done by a male or female artist. You'd think there'd be subtle context clues - but if there are, I'm missing them. What do you think? Does the fabled "male gaze" manifest itself differently in the actual finished image than the female gaze? Let me know if you have thoughts on this.
3.   It's awesome how many great artists we're finding from all corners of the world... South America, Australia, you name it. Recently I found a pocket of Dutch painters who are making great stuff – three of my favorites were Lique Schoot, Francien Krieg and Caroline Westerhout, click on their names to go to their websites.
4.   Though I haven't gone this route yet – because I feel each selected artist's work should stand on its own - some days I find I'm inclined to post images that fall into certain themes, as if trying to "curate" the day's posts (albeit in a loose and lazy way). Such as, historical/allegorical paintings, self-portraits (that alone would take up a lot of days), paintings with figures and animals, porn-ish images, images with "twins," etc. But then most times, I feel like I want to mix it up each day, and cover more of a variety of styles/approached. Anyway, I'm not used to thinking of things in any sort of quasi-"curatorial" sense, so this is all new to me. Whee.

So in case you're interested, here's my favorite painting from what I've posted in the past week:

Painting by Dutch artist Caroline Westerhout: de werkelijke wereld bestaat niet meer (the real world does no longer exist), oil on canvas, 70cm x 70cm, 2009.

It's beautifully painted, and deliciously creepy. And it also reminds me of a painting I did a couple of years ago, so maybe I'm relating to it in some other way as well:
restraint, oil on canvas, 24"x30", 2004, by me, Diane Feissel