They are artful nudes, my ladies. Not porn. I am female, and I like to paint what I know, so I paint nude women. The husband, Chuck, a most cooperative man, has his limits. This is one of them, and for reasons mentioned in an earlier post, so male nudes are problematic. I stick to the women.
It does bother me how the nude has become as polarized as the political climate! Look, people. The nude body is a thing of wonder; an elegant, an incredible piece of design! It is not dirty, it is not ugly. It is what carts our minds around, it gives us a means of taking in and acting upon, stimuli.
I think the human body is not the problem; those who fear sex, those who have a notion that the body is somehow “sinful” ( I don’t understand how certain people view themselves as created in the image of their god, yet they find that image sinful??? To date, still waiting for an explanation of this…), they are the problem.
The idea that the paintings of nudes are porn really bothers me. Porn is meant to be prurient, to stimulate sexually. It objectifies not just women, but men as well. Porn and fine art are different, they have different intents, most of the time. At points in history, we know that certain works were pornographic in nature, as well as erotica. But as hard as it is to define, we all know porn when we see it.
And therein lies another problem, how one sees it. That seeing differs from person to person, influenced by culture, beliefs and personal experiences. To some people the naked ankle is a turn on. To some of my fellow humans, depending on culture, clothing is erotic.
I’m influenced by being an artist, by being an artist in a Western culture, with the baggage that goes along with that. That has influenced my aesthetic as well as my sensibilities, I know this. I also know that the times I’ve grown up in and that I now live in, have also influenced me. That’s why I probably feel the way that I do about the human body.
I’ve painted nudes throughout my career; I’m sure I’ll paint more. I just have a hard time finding a place to show them! I have some in a gallery, but it would be nice to have a place to show more. I have really turned to encaustic for my nudes.
I like the way that the wax goes on in luminous layers, rendering flesh as translucent, as glowing. This one is going to be gothic in nature; an expressionistic nude.
Flesh rendered by encaustics has a glow that oils just cannot replicate. The light enters the wax and bounces around, the painted surface glowing. I’ve posted another example; a detailed closeup, that shows the beauty of the wax. If one adds a bit of oil, the encaustic will float on top of other layers with out the oil, creating the lovely shapes in the wax.
This is Dream and Echo, an encaustic piece. Next is a close up of her belly area, showing the wax layers and the float.
I love the float effect!