Sunday, August 21, 2011

Women and the Call of the Sea

I am in the awkward stages of the paintings and drawings I am currently working on so I decided to dedicate this blog to two contemporary women painters who have chosen to paint one of my favorite subjects, the sea. First, I need to thank and acknowledge one of my all time favorite blogs about marine oil painting, Jeronimus at Marine Oil Paintings. His blog has been listed in my "Artists who Inspire" list (found on the sidebar) for a while now. He is very good at searching out and posting the paintings of marine artists both past and present. I tried to do my own searching for female artists who paint seascapes but didn't turn up much. Fortunately, I found quite a few in the Marine Oil Paintings blog!
I have pretty much lived by the Pacific Ocean for most of my life. Currently, I live a mere 5 minute walk to the beach. Lest you have pictured in your head images of lithe tan bodies stretched out on the sand, I should mention I live in the Pacific Northwest, where the beaches are cold and often rough and wild, not to mention downright treacherous. I love the wildness here. It takes my breath away and has taken up residence in my heart and soul.
Naturally, I want to, have to paint my environment. As I am still acquiring the skills to do just that, it will be a few years before I reach the skill level of the two artists I am about to introduce you to.
The first artist is Katherine B. Young and you can see her work here. What intrigued me about her work is that she paints her marine paintings over metal leaf. That is something I would like to try myself one day. I would love to post a sample of her work however, sometimes a site (understandably so) will not let me copy an image. When I do, I always credit and link the image to the original site. Take my word and click on the link to her site and look at her work. Here is her artist statement:

“Places for Reflection” depicts images of vast oceans and skies.  These oil paintings speak to my love of the ocean, and the importance of the ocean environment in our lives, mentally and physically.  I have always been drawn to the ocean, and it is the place I go whenever I need to see beauty, find inspiration, or reflect upon life.  I was inspired early on by the painters Frederic Church and William Trost Richards, and more recently by contemporary artists Gerhard Richter and April Gornik.
The works in this series are all painted on top of metal leaf.  This reiterates the idea of reflection and symbolizes the sublime that I believe exists underneath it all.

These paintings have helped me realize how important it is to preserve this treasured resource. To this effect, I have pledged to donate a portion of my sales to organizations that help preserve the integrity of our marine environment."

I pretty much feel the same way about the ocean and have the same intention to donate a portion of my proceeds when I start selling my own work. 
The next artist is April Gornik, who is mentioned as one of the artists who inspires Young. 
Here is an example of one of her marine paintings. 
Storm Sea Light, 2009, Oil on linen, 74" x 77"
This picture can be found on her website along with her other wonderful work here.
Her biography and resume are worth reading as well. I was particularly intrigued by her artist's statement which I will share here:
"I am an artist that values, above all, the ability of art to move me emotionally and psychically. I make art that makes me question, that derives its power from being vulnerable to interpretation, that is intuitive, that is beautiful."
-April Gornik

That gives me a lot to think about.
Finally, as a bonus, I have to give another mention of an artist I have in my "Artists Who Inspire" list, and that is Katherine Kean. I have mentioned her before and  I continue to admire her work. The link on my list will take you to her blog. Her website can be found here.
Next week brings an exciting adventure. I will be heading up to Whidbey Island for a workshop with Robert Librace. Stay tuned for posts!

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