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Perfumed

 

And he removed my underwear with the force of an eager man,

hardened by desire.

Only to find:

the blooms of innocence,

still fresh, undamaged,

smelling like the cries of a thousand women raped.

His nostrils filled with a perfume

he could not contain.

kimber beckalexandra-sophie

Poem: Anna McKay

Top image: Kimber Beck

Bottom image: Alexandra Sophie

Genital Panic

valie export

Valie Export’s photograph Action Pants: Genital Panic shows her sitting with genitals exposed while pointing a gun at the viewer. Export’s work draws attention to the ideas of phallic power and whether it truly comes from biology or can be attained otherwise. Export showcases her lack of penis by exposing her own vagina but reclaims the gun as her phallic object and power. It was rumoured that this photograph came after a live performance, where Export walked around people seated in a theatre, her vagina at their eye-level, and pointed a gun at them while offering sex until the theatre was empty. This imagery reminds me of the film Magic, Magic where, post-hypnotism, the female protagonist walks into the room of a man who has been sexually harassing her (verbally) and rubs her naked vagina in his face, all while being asleep. The woman has no recollection of events the next day and appears mortified when the man confronts her about it. This scene acts to remind us that such overt sexuality is not ‘acceptable’ in a woman with both male anger and female humiliation driving this. Export’s photograph works in the opposite way, purposefully pairing femininity with macho aggression (common in a lot of her work) to blur set gender boundaries.

Performance artist and photographer, Claire Doyle, recently paid homage to Export’s work in her performance piece Habitual Body Monitoring: The Costume. Doyle draws attention to female body hair through her performance which you can watch above. The acceptance and freedom of female body hair has been gaining support in recent years with other artists like Petra Collins and Rhiannon Scnhiederman springing to mind.

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weapon Rhiannon Schneiderman

Elleree Fletcher

Elleree Fletcher is a multi-faceted artist who works in paint, photography and collage. I was instantly drawn to her collages that pair young girls with older women to expose sexuality, femininity and the notion of influence. During my university days I studied subjects like the objectification of women in media and how society is so influenced by what we are exposed to, visually and otherwise. My sister, who has such a strong sense of self, still struggles to fully understand that people really could be so influenced by the media. I certainly remember striking poses as a young girl and wanting to be glamorous. In many ways it seems cute and innocent, but when Fletcher pairs these images with sexually-driven photographs from another era, innocence is lost and the more sinister nature is exposed. Now we see girls in training, smiling and striking a pose for the man behind the camera. A father who will one day be replaced by boyfriend, then husband – men forever infatuated with the female shell, intent on restricting it under the male gaze.

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Hannah Adamaszek

Living in Christchurch, New Zealand has its downfalls. After the February earthquake (22/2/11) a lot changed – buildings were gone and the perks of city life diminished. Places to eat, drink and spend the early hours of the morning are hard to find and they aren’t what they used to be – although the new scene that is (slowly) building is pretty nice. All it needs, in my opinion, is some more creative, unique people to occupy it. In terms of post-earthquake perks, the addition of visually spectacular street art has to be at the top of the list. Around the city are huge pieces of art scattered on old, brick walls as well as resting on slick walls of the very newest buildings. Street art is truly a wonderful type of art. It brings joy and creativity to otherwise bland landscapes and is always united by its distinct style. I recently discovered Hannah Adamaszek (online unfortunately, her work does not grace my city yet) who is both a street artist as well as painter and drawer. Her work is incredibly delicious. Bohemian energy and whimsical colours connect in her feminine art that focuses on the female face. Whether big or small, her women look pretty damn enticing. Here are a few pieces that stood out to me, but do check out her website for much more – it’s a lovely website and you can also get the link to her blog there. We might be two peas in a pod, as while Hannah makes all this amazing art she also co-runs an art blog to help support other artists. Pretty cool, huh?

hannahSaltwater-Love-hannah adamaszekStorm-ChaserWhitechapel-3-web

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my love is selfish unframed1_600. anya brok mike1 XOOOOX---Transformer-I-(Laguna)---2013---(120x100cm)

The Number 8

2015 means the world moves into an eight year, which is a good thing! Eight represents abundance, especially with finances. So we can hopefully expect pay-rises and general improvement when it comes to the material world. To acknowledge the eight year, I have selected eight pieces of art to show. All are different (and don’t relate to money) but let’s hope they bring some good fortune to us all!

charmaineEWELINA SKOWRONSKAmarianna rothensselfcontroledit1smaller.eckwallJoshua-Petker1-484x361jenny liz romesaunders forsberg3jessica singh

In order: Charmaine Olivia, Ewelina Skowronska, Marianna Rothen, Jensine Eckwall, Joshua Pekter, Jenny Liz Rome, Dylan Forsberg, Jessica Singh 

Marguerite Sauvage

Marguerite Sauvage is a French illustrator who has a great portfolio of work, even doing some work for New Zealand (my homeland) clients. I recently found these two illustrations and something about them appealed to me more than Sauvage’s usual work. Both pieces have a political purpose – the first is against child slavery and the second is against harm to the environment via the overuse of plastic. I love the vibrant colour and find both images very captivating, as well as a little haunting with the use of the skeleton. The touch of death adds an important reminder about time and, for me, reminds us that what we do on this planet reaches a lot wider and longer than our own existence.

DACSExhibition-ChildSlavery marguerite sauvage

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jessicasingh_manisharora_goddesses shenplum_emmaleeShae Acopian Detar Photography

November Print Picks

Here’s a selection of art prints I think are pretty cool. If you also think these are cool then click on the link (the talented artists name) to be taken to the magical place where you can purchase them. All are really reasonably priced, so why not spoil yourself or a loved one? With Christmas coming it’s pretty much the ideal time for shopping and supporting artists. They all really appreciate it, I guarantee you. xx

natfoss

Natalie Foss

helen green

Helen Green

feline zegers

Feline Zegers

alex garant

Alex Garant

Sofia Bonati

Sofia Bonati

Abbey McCulloch

Australian artist, Abbey McCulloch, describes her art as simple, illustrative and quirky. These three pieces I have chosen fit that mould, but also have a strange femininity attached to them, and in some ways, connect to my last post on Martine Johanna. Each woman is a little warped through the amazing painting style McCulloch uses. Their energy seems to be zapped, like they have given up trying. Yet, at the same time, I see a mischievous energy that lets me know they are not dead, but simple sighing at the world, enjoying some relief before battling on as Woman once more. The amazing hues of pink and yellow as well as the interesting compositions make these pieces of art well worth investigating. I certainly love them and hope you do to. Spend some time to absorb their energy and see how you feel. Happy Monday everyone! x

Abbey-McCulloch8 Abbey-McCulloch12 Abbey-McCulloch7-500x574

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The Grand Illusion of Sanity

The amazing Martine Johanna is currently exhibiting at Walls gallery, Amsterdam. Her exhibition ‘The Grand Illusion of Sanity’ looks at the history of women being made to feel like they can’t speak, that their minds are not sound and the misconception of female hysteria. These issues are really important as (sadly) many women still battle with them today. When we speak up it is easy for men to say we are ‘crazy’, ‘on the rag’ and other grossly untrue comments used to try to ‘put us in our place’ (The kitchen? The bedroom? Certainly not in front of a microphone or keyboard. I should get a wrist slap right now!) I have always enjoyed Johanna’s work and especially love these pieces from her current exhibition. I hope you do too! Oh, but whether you do or don’t, make sure you don’t say something hysterical, it’s only art after all!

Martine_Johanna_art_02Martine_Johanna_art_04Martine_Johanna_art_05Martine_Johanna_art_01

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With Words

pieter_hugo_nollywood_sailor1

So today I am sharing something a little different to my usual visual-based posts. Lately I have found some really good, really fierce poetry that looks at the portrayal of women and race in popular culture. Of course we all know how skewed the world is and that mainstream music, film and literature often adds fuel to the fire – the white male view-point reigning supreme. These two talented women use their words to reevaluate what so many people just accept as normal. I’ve added a few images that I feel work with the essence of this post and, well, just because I am The Visual Female after all. The above image is by Pieter Hugo (which I got the privilege of seeing at an exhibition a few years ago), and the other two are taken from new wave classic Pierrot Le Fou (1965). Please take the time to watch both clips, they are very powerful and worthwhile.

eGRrbjllMTI=_o_pierrot-le-fou---ma-ligne-de-chance-anna-karina

The mainstream view about these issues….

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What our response should look like

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risque2 19-01

In Nature

Brett Manning is an American artist with a diverse portfolio. I originally discovered her illustrations and through following her on social media was fortunate enough to see these stunning photographs. I love the vibe of the work, very feminine and empowered with a touch of witch energy (which works with Brett being a Scorpio – born on spooky Halloween in fact). A lot of her artwork makes reference to this, with cats, ghosts, witches and broomsticks scattered throughout rather lightly toned illustrations. You will also find ufos, aliens and cakes. The result is fun, quirky artwork with a little mystery and intrigue. However, with Brett’s photography, there is a darker, more feminine and powerful energy. Do check out her portfolio to see all her amazing work.

brett manning manning2 manning3

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Picture-69 bent over

Francesca Woodman

I love the connections between these photographs by Francesca Woodman. Both are feminist pieces (and obviously stunning!) in my opinion. The first positions Woodman’s girl-like face and ribbon with a more developed body through breasts and underarm hair. I really dig this part of the image because it is really quite subtle but entirely transforms the image from look at me to what are you looking at? So much strength and power as woman is conveyed.

woodman?

The second image is cropped in a similar way and while the subject matter is also similar it expresses another concept. The idea of submission and rape come to my mind. Woodman’s face and body language retreat, her arms up and blank face saying ‘take me’, ‘do what you want with me’. Her hands scream I am innocent, don’t shoot through a familiar gesture, but the painted hand on Woodman’s chest indicates violation, unacknowledged hands. We can tell it is her hand that she has painted around, but ideas of other hands touching her come to mind. Combined with her submissive position, and the police aspects (hands up, painted body outline from crime scenes) this adds a sinister aspect which really makes the image so amazing. Francesca Woodman, you were one talented photographer. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, we are lucky.

Francesca-Woodman-20

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 1922 winners beauty pag

This vs. That: Round Eighteen

It’s time for another This vs. That. Today I look at the The Mouth as subject matter and compare some interesting images while trying to understand what they are saying while evaluating their aesthetic and technical quality. I really love both images and analysing them helped me gain a better understanding. But, with what I consider quite open, or complex pieces up for discussion, I’m sure there is always something I’m missing. Take a read and let me know your opinion of Round Eighteen: The Mouth.

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Round Seventeen: Louise BrooksRound Sixteen: Tattooed, Round Fifteen: Additions,

Beauties

1922 winners beauty pag

I came across this image today in a blog post showcasing historical images that reflected the changing times and the enduring humanity of people. Some pieces were serious while others were of a more humorous nature, like the four person bicycle that allowed Mum to sit down and continue working on her sewing machine while the family peddled around. (I wonder why that never took off?). Among the selection of images this picture stood out to me. The caption said these were winners in a 1922 beauty pageant and then went on to comment about the changing ideals of beauty. I found that a bit disappointing, because what makes this photo stand out to me is the women’s attitudes towards beauty, rather than whether they are supposed to be fatter, taller, shorter… or whatever the author’s comment was meant to indicate. (I really don’t know). What makes this image worthy of being shared is the wonderful carelessness both winners exhibit. The woman on the left looks away, rather disinterested in the whole thing (looks like there might be a boy she’s eyeing up) and our staunch lady on the right stares out at the camera with complete authority backed up by her open, yet unapproachable body language. There are no false smiles or over-enthusiastic gushing at the ‘honour’ of being crowned good-looking by some panel of (let’s assume, ugly) old men. These women’s attitudes towards the whole charade that is beauty is so refreshing, which makes it even more of a shame that pageants have gone from this to what we know now.

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This vs. That: Round Seventeen

It’s time for this months This vs. That. Today I am looking at some interesting collages of my favourite flapper, Louise Brooks. With Move Monday still in my head, I thought if fitting to dedicate this week to lovely Louise. To see her dancing, check out Move Monday: Lulu vs. Gaga and to have a look at two collage attempts and hear my opinions, Round Seventeen: Louise Brooks will do the trick. Oh, and I’m back to my original This vs. That template – much nicer!

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R ound Sixteen: Tattooed, Round Fifteen: Additions, Round Fourteen: Red

Milo Manara

I was rediscovering some of the images from my Copy Klimt post today and remembered Milo Manara. The Italian artist and comic book writer creates illustrations and art with a unifying erotic element. While I am yet to discover all his wonderful work (made harder by the fact that all pages about him seem to be in other languages!) his Sensualitars book seems extremely engaging and I would love to get my hands on a copy. The book looks at the relationship between artists and their models and covers a wide period of art history. He works in various mediums to express each artist and pay tribute to the models who inspired many of the great pieces we still love today. In addition to the art, Manara provides a written commentary on the relationships and connections as well as his personal thoughts. I found a few images which showcase Manara’s work alongside the artist he is recognising (Manara on the right, artist on the left), but the book has 44 original images in total.

sensualitars

Milo Manara – Sensualitars (Inside Cover)

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele

Raphael

Raphael

Gustave Coubet

Gustave Coubet

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This vs. That: Round Sixteen

Time for this months glorious This vs. That. Today I look at some of Ruben Ireland’s art in tattoo form. Quite  interesting and worth having a look if just for the tattoos. Get reading Round Sixteen: Tattooed and have a think about what piece of art you would have tattooed if you could. Would it reproduce well or would it be just too hard? I always thought something by Man Ray would be pretty cool. Enjoy

16

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Round Fifteen: AdditionsRound Fourteen: RedRound Thirteen: Kindgoms, 

Good Lorde

Yay, my favourite Kiwi girl, Lorde, has won two of the four Grammys she was nominated for. I got to watch it live as it even screened on free-to-air TV in New Zealand today. Couldn’t be happier for the young lady. Her voice (singing and otherwise) is a welcome change to the music scene and I’m always interested in her thoughts. A true lady, and a true Kiwi. To celebrate the two wins I am sharing two pics of her that I quite like. Enjoy x

lorde1 lorde2

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This vs. That: Round Fifteen

Time for this months This vs. That. My template decided not to open, so I made a new template for today’s post. Might mix it up each month from now on, or go back to normal next month. Will have to see what the world wants me to do.

Anyway, Round Fifteen: Additions is up now. The first for 2014 – I hope you like it!

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Round Fourteen: RedRound Thirteen: Kindgoms, Round Twelve: Pattern

Happy New Year!

Happy new year lovely readers! I hope you have had a bit of a relax (or party-time if that’s more of what you were desiring!) over the Christmas and New Year period. I took a break from art and blogging, had some days at my day job (how appropriate), and did a bit of family holidaying. Not too bad. I am looking forward to 2014 and hope that with the influence of Neptune that it will be a dreamy, feminine and creative year. I’m also into my moon year in my cycle, which might make my creative juices take a feminine approach as well. I’m excited to see what art I create and if this is different from my sun year.

I didn’t really set any resolutions, but I want to continue all the good I did in 2013, as well as push my art onto the world (watch out) and try to get some pieces into shops and stuff like that. I want to have a group or solo exhibition too! And I also want to reach a wider audience here, as well as work on my writing and connections with other creatives. Hey, look at me, no superficial resolutions! That makes me proud. Oh, and I want to try to help out the world a little bit more, ideally in some area related to women’s rights. Wish me luck! And I wish you all the best with whatever endeavors you set yourself for the year that is 2014.

I thought what better way to kick off the new year than with a pic of the stunning Kate Moss (digitally edited by me)? With Moss being a Capricorn it seems the ideal way to get into the swing of things. Enjoy and all the best for the year ahead xx

new year-01

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Illustrators (Kelly Thompson looks up to)

I read an interview with the delectable Kelly Thompson today featured on a new-found goody, Sly on the WallOne aspect of the interview (and interviews in general) I enjoyed was hearing what illustrators Kelly looks up to and finds inspiring. It always interests me to see if artists like other artists that are similar to them (hence they were probably inspired by them initially) or whether they love work that’s different to their own.

I guess with me I don’t emulate any artist that I really like. One reason would be that there are far too many I like (check how many amazing artists I have posted on this blog so far!) and another reason would be that I’m far to spontaneous to dedicate time to emulation. I can hardly do any repeat styles in my own work, so throwing in another artists style would be way too much. Unless you think I’ve been inspired by anyone? (Let me know). I’m sure we all are in some shape or form. But some artists really work to develop their own personal style, which is admirable. Others want to explore and develop others styles, always adding their own unique spin. This work is also pretty great.

But back to my point, Kelly listed a few illustrators she finds inspiring, so I checked them out and found a few pieces that I thought were pretty cool too. Surprisingly, I hadn’t heard of any of them! (But I did recognise the piece by Vania Zouravliov, which I’m sharing here). Had you? Do you see any similarities in Kelly’s work that could have resulted from these illustrators as a source of inspiration? I can in a couple.

eirianchapman

Eirian Chapman

MrQuiffyCraigKarl1a

Craig and Karl

vania_zouravliov_9

Vania Zouravliov

richardgrayIllustration-by-Richard-Gray-26

Richard Gray

Malika_Favre

Malika Favre

coles-phillips-life-the-call-of-the-wild-1927-1345753347_b

Coles Phillips

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This vs. That: Round Fourteen

Time for this months This vs. That. For the month of November I look at some simple black, white and red pieces (from Mariam Tronchoni and Sofia Bonati) that use eyes in rather different ways. Check out Round Fourteen: Red to see these images in full, and hear my thoughts on who delivers the best piece. Today was an easy choice for me, but will it be for you?

thisvsthat14-01
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Round Thirteen: Kindgoms, Round Twelve: Pattern, Round Eleven: Realism

November

Visual Female of the Month for November is up. This month I share the art of the lovely Candace McKay (no relation!). Candace is a 19-year-old self-taught artist, whose work is feminine and fun – think vibrant colours and fantasy settings with beautiful, intriguing women. I really lover her style and find it quite distinctive and unique. I hope you all enjoy it too. To check out her work and read her interview click here. 

On another note, there is only one more Visual Female of the Month left for this year. I know, can you believe it?! How time flies. I’ll be keeping an eye out and hoping to showcase someone special for December. If you know anyone whose work just blows your mind, let me know! I love to discover new art and artists.

New

womancoloured

This is one of my recent pieces I have been playing around with. It’s a pen drawing that I scanned and edited in Photoshop, adding the coloured aspects. Although it is quite simple, I quite like it. I am a bit like a Gemini when it comes to art. I am constantly changing, and struggle to commit to anything long-term. I suppose it’s because I haven’t settled on a particular style yet. I love digital, drawing, mixed media and painting (which I am aiming to get back into soon). Like this blog, the main subject that connects my work would be the female subject matter. Although I have a few pieces that don’t have women in them. In such a subjective industry it can be hard to predict what people will like, which is why I just have to trust my gut and own aesthetic and hope that others will relate to or enjoy some of my work.

I love sharing work by other artists because I know how valued you feel when people acknowledge and recognise your talent and hard work. And it is hard work. But of course it is worth it. I sincerely believe that all artists have a market out there – people who will buy and adore their work – but the most challenging part is connecting the art and the audience. With the internet it seems easy, but honestly how hard is it to find stuff on the internet? Unless you know specifically what you are looking for it can be pretty hard to discover anything new. That’s another reason why I started this blog, as a way to accumulate art and visuals for my followers. Online magazines and other blogs are great ways to keep discovering, as is Facebook. I found that since I created a Facebook page for The Visual Female I was discovering more and more artists through liking pages and what others were sharing on my News Feed.

I have finally taken the plunge and made a Facebook for my own personal art, and hope to build an audience over time. To see my work, visit my Facebook pageand please give it a like if it appeals. Obviously in this subjective world I am not expecting everyone to love it, I am just trying to see what people think.

Stay tuned for a cool new Visual Female of the Month coming up shortly! And thanks again to all the readers and fans of The Visual Female – you rock xx

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Saidov Aydemir

Saidov Aydemir is a Russian artist who creates some truly dreamy, wonderful pieces. I love his paintings of women, but he also does a pretty awesome job with landscapes and still life. His work is realistic and romantic. It takes me back to an older time. In some ways I would connect his work to Charmaine Olivia – both use realism and focus on the faces and get more gestural around the edges and backgrounds of the images. His first piece shown here is the most like Charmaine in style – but isn’t solely his style, as you will see as you scroll down. Charmaine is more modern than Saidov, but both artists are really refreshing in their quest for true beauty and romanticism. Here is a collection of pieces by Saidov Aydemir that I thought were worth sharing.

saidovsaidov_aydemir_tr-art-2aydermirsaidov3aydermirsaidov2aydermirsaidov1aydemir

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ocean hair - charmaine olivia malcolmliepke3 Emanuele-Cassina-2

This vs. That: Round Thirteen

Time for this months This vs. That. For the month of October I look at some fun, fantasy pieces (from Olga Noes and Zan Von Zed) that both integrate their women into their fantasy environments to perfection!  Check out Round Thirteen: Kingdoms to see these images in full, and hear my thoughts on who delivers the best piece. I loved both these pieces, and had an unusual outcome today. To find out what, and to enjoy the read, click here.

thisvsthat13-01
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Round Twelve: Pattern, Round Eleven: RealismRound Ten: Splashes, 

Frida

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter and rather interesting woman. Through her life she suffered greatly as the result from a vehicle accident, where the bus she was on collided with a trolley car. Frida was 18. One result of this was an iron handrail piercing her abdomen and uterus, which meant reproductive trouble. While she conceived three times, she couldn’t carry to term, and had to terminate her pregnancies. She was born on July 6, which makes her the most maternal sign of the zodiac, Cancer. But her accident turned her towards art and painting. She commonly painted self-portraits, as a way to deal with her trauma, but also because she knew herself so well. She has stated “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

Her work is quite captivating, and honest and raw. Her work often had a lot of nature in it, which makes sense to me with Frida being a Cancer whom often love animals. It would make sense that she could be drawn to animals and nature as a way to express her emotions. I like these three pieces by her.

frida-kahlo-self-portrait-with-thorn-necklace-and-hummingbird-pg-reproductionsfrida-kahlo-venadito1946Frida-Kahlo-The-Broken-Column

I recently remembered Frida because I noticed that a few artists I follow were doing their own portraits of her. So, I want to share these also. Cate Rangel’s piece connects more to the pain and life of Frida, whereas Liz Clements is very obviously Liz Clements style (which is a great style, but speaks less about Frida as a person). They both have hummingbirds in them, which is interesting.

Cate Rangel - Frida

Cate Rangel – Frida

Liz Clements - Frida

Liz Clements – Frida

A wonderful woman worth sharing.

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October

Visual Female of the Month for October is up. This month I share the art and thoughts of Romanian graphic designer, artist and fashion illustrator, Anca Pora. Ancas work is feminine, organic and really quite beautiful. I especially love her Alison Harvard inspired piece – such a stunner. I agreed with some of Ancas answers, especially when it comes to comparing graphic design with art and illustration. It seems we are a bit similar. Make sure to check out the full interview here. Enjoy the read, and get inspired.

Be happy, be great.

Blue

Blue. The last colour of the rainbow. I sort of like blue, but once again, I don’t find myself wearing it very often. Some people love blue. I knew a boy who would wear all blue outfits (if you count denim as blue, which I do). The zodiac sign Taurus (the bull) likes blue. They find it calming. The boy I just mentioned was a Taurus. I might have made him nervous. At least I never wore red. Blue gets used as a default colour far too much. Even now, WordPress likes its blue. So does Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. This kinds of degrades blue to me. I believe it’s a calming, neutral colour. I heard today on the television that blue is the colour of communication. That would make sense why it is used for many social media platforms. I try not to have too much blue on this blog. Other than in the art. It’s quite pretty in the art. So, in saying all that, here are a few pieces that utilise blue.

olganoeshalom943102_13208796_bpazucheng.kateinblue galaxy - ashley white jacobsen5senor salmemarilyninblue.paulettesorhaindo

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pink3 conrad-roset3 Diego-Fernandez_5_600_800 Filamentous Mollusca

This vs. That: Round Twelve

Time for the next This vs. That. For the month of September I look at some beautiful pieces (from Alexandra Levasseur and Joshua Burbank) that create a raw, informal use of pattern. Be sure to check out Round Twelve: Pattern to see these images in full, and hear my thoughts on who delivers the best piece. I loved both these pieces, and hope you will too. Enjoy the read here.

thisvsthat12-01

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Round Eleven: RealismRound Ten: Splashes, Round Nine: Visibility

Friday the 13th

It’s Friday the 13th! This doesn’t really impact me (apart from a few friends to wish happy birthday to, and $13 pizzas at my favourite pizza place). However, I thought I may as well put together some horror inspired images (13 seemed appropriate). I do quite love horror movies (especially Rob Zombie films), and while horror art can be pretty cool, it’s not really something I can imagine hanging in my home. It is something I would be interested in trying for myself though, so maybe these pieces can be inspiration. Enjoy, and enjoy whatever you are up to today, spooky or otherwise! xx

rimelneffiti demone ros kovac buddy-nestor jeremyzombie rubenireland 2653831_6003691_b ryden Las Meninas, NM, 1987 martine johannared AnnieOwensBerenicephillipbankedbrianv

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Red

Red. The first colour of the rainbow. I like red, but I don’t find myself wearing it very often. I don’t know why. I think some people just love red and wear it all the time, whereas others never really get into it. My mum loves red shoes. The three fire signs of the zodiac (Aries, Sagittarius, Leo) are associated with red. Sometimes I notice friends that wear red a lot are one of those fire signs. Red is associated with love. And lust. And is sometimes in art, but not as much as other, more subtle colours. Here are a few pieces that utilise red quite nicely.

conrad-roset3angiewangJAW - nectarfirestarter.olganoeshugobarros.girls

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Yong Sung Heo

I’m loving these paintings by Yon Sung Heo, especially the top piece. It’s so wonderfully creepy. The pale skin combined with the Asian features is quite delicious. The clothing and the environment make it extra creepy and it is an overall cool piece of art. It reminds me of a scene from a book I have been reading lately. While the subject matter isn’t entirely the same, the idea of a strange (slightly demonic) adolescent half-dressed surrounded by nature rings true. All she needs is to be covered in leeches. Enjoy these delightfully unusual pieces.

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This vs. That: Round Eleven

We are halfway thought August (I know, can you believe it?) which means it’s time for This vs. That. This month I look at some art that is pretty realistic, but also has some interesting compositional elements. Round Eleven: Realism  is worth a read, as I discuss some fresh ideas I haven’t really touched on before. I know there are a few of you out there that really love This vs. That, which makes me oh so happy. I hope you enjoy this months edition and my composition analysis. Stay cool (you know who you are).

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Round Ten: Splashes, Round Nine: Visibility, Round Eight: Skulls, 

Closer

face

This is a newish piece of mine that I wanted to share. I think it’s been a wee while since I shared an original so it seemed about time for a new one! Plus, I have also added a bunch of new pieces to my Society6 page, so I thought I would do a little shameless self-promotion. If you like this piece, it is available for purchase as a print and other items at my Society6 pageAnd if this doesn’t float your boat, some of my other latest pieces might!

I hope everyone is having a good Monday – mine isn’t going too well as I’ve been feeling rather nauseous for the last few hours. Very strange! Let’s hope you are all doing better than me!

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Bow in Hair Bette

Until

I set myself a challenge to write a poem based on a painting. I chose this piece by Michael Shapcott.

michael shapcott - the girl and the owl

Until

I once was a woman
who could fly.
But now my wings have been clipped
and I simply perch
high in a tree and wait
until one day they might grow again.

Until that day I wait and wonder
what is passing me by,
as I sit here in my captive castle,
trapped (drowning) in my own melancholic tendencies.
A sad swelling emptiness
fueled by my isolation.

Until my wings grow.
Until my wings grow.
Until they grow.

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jennifer-madden-illustration-series-01 diegeo.fernandez.painting Filamentous Mollusca

This vs. That: Round Ten

Mid-month has flown around again, which means a push and a shove for me to get analytical. Yes, that’s just my fancy way of saying it’s time for This vs. That. This month I look at the use of colour by the means of splatter and such in Round Ten: Splashes. Be sure to have a read and let me know your wonderful thoughts on the matter. Do you like art in this style? Who did it better here? And who does it best in general? Got your own mixed media piece that you would like to share? Let me know – I’m always on the hunt for more artwork to share and promote.

As always, thanks for reading x

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Round Nine: Visibility, Round Eight: SkullsRound Seven: Faceless

Mercurial

We are almost nearing the end of Mercury retrograde – thank goodness! For those of you that don’t know about Mercury retrograde, here’s a brief rundown. About three times a year, the planet Mercury starts turning in a backward motion which begins to cause some havoc. Mercury governs communication and transportation, so in retrograde you may notice that issues arise surrounding these matters. Examples of such include computers crashing, missing appointments, buses running late, things going missing and so on. Essentially, it is not such a flash time of the year. Mercury is a bit of a trickster, so if you have noticed things going a little weird you can start to relax, as retrograde will finish in the 20th of July, and things will start to go back to normal. I find Gala Darlings run down of retrograde pretty good, so check it out here. Plus, retrograde isn’t all bad, as Gala explains.

Like myself, Gala is a Virgo. This may explain why she has an interest in Mercury retrograde, as Mercury is the ruling planet of both Virgo and Gemini. And this means that us Virgos, and all those Geminis out there, feel the effects of retrograde quite a bit harder than the other signs of the zodiac. I haven’t had too many issues this time, but have had hard-drives break and other serious mishaps in the past. Although, I have to wonder about where my emails are going lately… I am not getting the usual replies, which is making progression quite difficult. But nevermind, enough about me. Here are a few artists that may be feeling, or could have felt, the effects of Mercury retrograde. Yes, they are all Virgos or Geminis.

Virgo

Joel-Peter Witkin – September 13, 1939

artwork_images_357_421581_joel-peter-witkin joel-peter

Jen Mann – September 17, 1987

mydeer-jenmann Jen-Mann-11

Man Ray – August 27, 1890

manray4 ML/F/1984/91

Gemini

John Baldessari – June 17, 1931

johnbaldessari   1919_baldessari

Egon Schiele – June 12, 1890

wally-with-a-red-blouse  Egon-Schiele-Two-Women-Em-001

Diego Velazquez – June 6, 1599

velazquez.meninas a-souvenir-of-velazquez

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Mark Ryden

I found these pieces by Mark Ryden a few days ago, and love the creepy nature of them. They are little ghostly, a little supernatural, and just plain odd (which is fantastic). I love white based art and pieces that are quite subtle. I have to say I find this first image so good. I don’t know exactly why, but something about it connects with me and I rather love it. She is kind of like a baby Yeti. And the facial expression is so right. I kind of want a massive print of it to put in my bedroom. Maybe that would scare off any guests, but maybe it would make for an interesting conversation starter. After all, it’s far more fun to be interesting than generic. So enjoy this creepy, yet fascinating art. Oh. And doesn’t the last piece remind you of those toilet brush (or roll) holders. It was like a plastic doll with a big skirt that held and hid the brush or roll (really can’t remember well enough, but I know my nana used to have one – bizarre inventions). Anyhow, they looked really similar to the final piece here. The memory adds a whole new dimension of strange to me. Love it! Enjoy the last of the weekend x

mark-ryden-08 mark-ryden-09 mark-ryden-11

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Diego Fernandez – Beautiful Digital Illustration

diegeo.fernandez.painting Diego-Fernandez-Illustrations-10Diego-Fernandez_5_600_800

Diego Fernandez is an Argentinian digital illustrator whose work focuses on beautiful women. I love his style. For me, there is something quite nice about the result, which I believe is directly linked to the process. That is, due to the process of digital illustration, the end result has a certain pullback, an over-perfection that gives it a distinct energy. A lot of work these days is certainly edited in Photoshop or Illustrator, but from what I can see, Fernandez does almost all, if not entirely all, his work on the computer. Other artists are more likely to hand-draw the majority and do minor digital edits towards the end, but Fernandez approaches illustration in the opposite way. This is why his work is very polished. I really like it (although I know I wouldn’t have the patience to design this way) and something about the energy of the work lingers with me. I assume it is the nature of the method. While they are certainly executed well, and have exquisite beauty, it is almost as if something is lacking. The rawness? The organic, spontaneity of hand-drawn work? Yet in this lacking, I find the pieces acquire a kind of ghostly energy. It is as if the women are ‘shells’, lacking the depth of emotion inside them – as if we know they are digitally done, removed from human energy. This is not a bad thing, because I find haunting art truly mystifying and wonderful. Fernandez often uses cold tones (blues and greys) which further enhances the ghostly nature of his work. I have no idea if this is deliberate, but I rather like it and find that his work is quite unique within contemporary illustration.

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When looking at the pieces I am displaying today, I found that a certain familiarity surrounded them. Sure, I had seen them before, but it was more than that. I don’t know if I can quite put my finger on it, but I have decided it must be a likeness to Raphael, and Di Vinci. They have that feel of art from around that time. Perhaps it is the focus of perfection and technique rather than emotion of character? I’m not quite sure, but the third piece especially reminds me of something. If you can contribute to this ungraspable thought of mine, please do! I would love to hear if you agree with what I concluded, or whether there is another artist that Fernandez has a similarity to.

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Land + Face

I found these two collages and was taken by the similarity between the two. The first piece is by Sammy Slabbink, and the second is by Clinton Santana. Both images take a beautiful, wintry landscape and connect it with a beautiful woman’s face. Both have paths in them – the bridge and then the track in the bottom image. Arguably, the top piece has a little more collage going on – the mountains sit above clouds, the bridge houses little people who conflict with the size of the main woman. Are they coming out or are the going in? I think it looks like they are coming out of her mouth, entering the world. The second piece is a little simpler, in that it appears only two or three pieces have been used in the collage. The bottom half of the image is a simple landscape, and at the top we have a starry night’s sky. In the middle the beautiful woman. But what made me stop and notice this piece was exactly who this woman was. I have her stuck to my kitchen door, so I am very familiar with her face. It is a piece from the “Semblance” series by HelloVon. I posted the image and some more from the series in a post called HelloVon almost a year ago. If you check out the post, you will be able to see how Santana has cut and pasted from the first piece.

thegreatescape.sammy.slabbink xenophobes.clinton.santana

love both images, and it amazes me how something as simple as a collage can be so effective. Yet, I know that when I briefly tried to do my own collage, the result wasn’t as polished as these two pieces. I guess we are drawn to the art forms that connect to us individually, and while I love collage, it is not something I have really considered pursuing. But you never know, perhaps one day I will be as memorable for collage as the Dadaists.

tumblr_mc1v2wy5HY1rjn17io1_1280 wesley2 annacollageattempt collage2

Zodiac

zodiacpiece

I’m quite a fan of astrology, so I am always interested in art that depicts signs of the zodiac. I stumbled upon this piece a while ago and while I can see many of the 12 signs, I’m not sure If I can see them all! Which is a little odd, and frustrating. Aires (The Ram) is top left, Pisces (The Fish) are bottom left, then it has to be Virgo (The Maiden) in the middle, which moves across to Sagittarius (The Centaur/Archer) in top right, Leo (The Lion) is clearly there in the bottom right corner along with Cancer (The Crab) and Libra (The Scales). But I believe that is all I can see! So who is left and why aren’t they there?! I’m missing Taurus (The Bull), Capricorn (The Sea Goat), Aquarius (The Water Bearer), Gemini (The Twins) and Scorpio (The Scorpion).

I wonder if this piece was designed for someone specific. Either these signs could be the strongest influences in their Natal Chart, or perhaps it was done for a family that comprises of the shown zodiac signs. I quite like this concept if it were to be the latter, or even the first. It really is beautiful as a piece of art, and then has a deeper meaning through the astrological aspects. From my experience, not all people are that open-minded to astrology, so I like the fact that it works as a piece on its own (to those non-believers) and to someone with knowledge of astrology. I think it would be so cool to do custom pieces like this for each of your children, as each piece would come out unique to them, and maybe they would even prefer their own piece aesthetically. Imagine being a small child and having this painted onto a whole wall in your room. It would be so magical and dreamy and then also tie in to your personal astrological attributes. Wow, I’m making myself excited. Hah. If I ever have children I am definitely doing this (lucky them!). And maybe hubby and I could have our own ones above the bed on the side we sleep on. Dreamy.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Red Hair

I remember growing up that people with red hair used to get teased. There were only a few around, and they often had all those freckles to match. Now, I don’t know if it is because I have grown up, or if society has made red hair cool, but I don’t feel there is a negative stigma around ladies and gents with red locks. Even a lot of people dye their hair red – so it can’t be that bad. I like it and know it can be so striking. Perhaps it was just us majority brown-haired kids that were a little jealous so teased those more unique than us. Anyway, to celebrate red hair, I have accumulated a few images that show it off.

Also, thevisualfemale now has a Facebook page, so go have a look and like it!

red - st janered hairDenise-Van-Leeuwen23katie1

Elena Mir

Elena Mir’s art generally has quite an Asian vibe – but these two pieces kind of don’t, and I like that about them. Both images are striking – one’s dark and the other is somewhat lighter, but still a little dark. Evocative faces and animal additions connect these two and make pairing them quite nice. It’s hard for me to decide which one I prefer actually. Originally I was thinking the bottom one, but the first image has its own special innocence which is a little captivating. The bottom image has more of a knowing essence which I generally prefer, but tonight I just can’t decide. Fortunately, I don’t have to decide, and I can share and compliment both pieces! Well done Elena – I’m in adoration. See more here.

alice - elena mir dark bird by elena..

Self Portrait

For any of you that know what I look like, you probably won’t be able to see the connection here too strongly. I’ll tell you why. The final result has been distorted in many ways. First of all, it is based off a painting I did of myself around five years ago. This painting was not to exact likeness and was also based off a slightly unusual photograph to begin with. Secondly, all I have left of this painting is a blurry photograph I happened to find on my old computer. And finally, I have just spent some minutes playing around with it in Photoshop to see what I could transform a blurry, mediocre self-portrait into. Below is the result.

Selfportraitphotoshoplay

I’m not disappointed, in fact, I quite like the effects I have created. Maybe if I was a super-cool, pop-electro (do I even know what that is?!) singer then it would make for a sweet album cover. Agree? Maybe I should come up with a band name and album title and Photoshop it for real. Challenge to myself accepted (I’ll keep you all posted).

I thought I would also show you the original photograph I had to work with. I remember painting this and luckily took a photo as I went, because I had one of those heated (passionate?) moments where I scribbled all over it and ruined it. And then I tried to make it a collage (bottom of page), with minimal success. I photographed that too. So now you can see it all – a work in progress… five years in the making…. and maybe still making…. Enjoy and stay cool x

selfportrait08selfportraitcollage

Copy Klimt

Like most cool people in the world, I am in love with Gustav Klimt. He has been my art hero since I was a teenager. I always have to scatter a few images of his art throughout my home and he has remained with me from flat to flat over my student years. The beauty in his work is truly incredible and actually quite hard to recreate (trust me, I’ve tried!). Many people, including myself, have attempted to do our own Klimt style piece – some staying true to Klimt by direct mimicking and others by using his style as inspiration only. Below I will share a range of homages to Klimt I have discovered so far. They are all great, but nothing can really beat an original Klimt in my opinion!

Oh, but first I better show you an original Klimt incase you have failed to discover him in your life so far!

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss

Gustav Klimt – The Kiss (detail)

And now for the copy-Klimts

Gustav-Klimt-inspired-art-The-Kiss-reinterpretation-6

gustav_klimt_the_kiss_syria

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milo manara paying homage to Klimt

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hasanb_gustav_klimt_tribute

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And, just for fun I thought I would show you my attempt. I did this for a friend a few years ago. Originally it was done in oranges and golds to be more in line with Klimt, but I found it wasn’t working, so in frustration I kind of scribbled over it with blue which changed the whole essence. I decided I liked it so went with a more icy version of Klimt. I quite like the result as it is Klimt inspired without being as obvious as it could be. I have my orange version in a folder somewhere (!) so maybe I will dig that up at some point for comparison. It’s funny how I had done a whole other painting, which remains hidden under this one. Thank goodness for photography so I could capture the underpainting also. I hope you enjoyed these x

summer painting yellow

The night calls

I love the dark sensuality of these selected images. I am a huge fan of the simplicity of black and white artwork as it can be so powerful. I agree that effective use of colour can be equally as striking, but today I felt like pairing some darker pieces that have a powerful and controlled sexuality to them. I suppose when I think of girls that look like these subjects I think about Scorpios. I am a bit of an astrology freak and when I think of a Scorpio woman I see long black hair, dark clothes and make-up and an overall mysterious and alluring sexuality. Obviously, not all woman born under the Scorpio sign look like this, but it is a beautiful image to conjure up and seems to run true with quite a few Scorpios I know.

I love all these images and they kind of make me want to transform into this sometimes. I have a strong Scorpion influence as it is my rising sign, but paired with my Virgo sun, I think I never quite appear as dark or intense as these women. I love my long dark hair and my only must have makeup is black eyeliner, but I never ever seem to get sultry enough. It’s a funny thing. I suppose to look a certain way, it really has to be a strong desire in you, or something that is instinctive and from your core. I personally don’t believe in dressing in a way that feels put on or insincere. I think this is why I never can quite commit to the dark sensuality these images possess. I can certainly catch glimpses occasionally, but at the end of the day I’m not an actual Scorpio.

girl by blackNYX

spades connii lim

felinezegers...

morning star - ruben ireland

Wolf & Woman

I have a painting I did a while ago that just never felt finished. I decided that it needed a big black wolf or panther in the frame next to the woman. I thought this would add some kind of sinister element, as right now it just feels a bit bland. Like all true creatives, the painting is still sitting there with no additions. But, in the spirit of pretending like I am thinking about getting started, here are some images that have both woman and wolf. Research, shall we say? Surprisingly, they don’t have as much of a sinister vibe as I was expecting. Enjoy, and one day I will show you my wolf and woman attempt.

** This first piece is by the talented Elsa Isabella. To see her wonderful paper dolls (be intrigued) visit this post about her.

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the girl and the wolf - alisha brunton

I also found this image below which has both wolves and a black panther. Funny, as I was tossing up between which one to use originally. I think the wolf, but maybe the panther has a stronger sense of evil? I do like the three wolves here as they make me think of witches that have morphing ability. What would you advise? Is the panther perhaps a better choice? Or is it a little predictable with the feline association. I’d love some thoughts before I get started.

wolves and panther

I do?

I came across this image and instantly thought “How many people would still get married if they had to do it like this?”

the-measurement-of-the-female-9

I honestly think it would be one of the greatest tests. Marriage is supposed to be the ultimate commitment and declaration of love to one person, so arguably one would (should) do anything for this. But, as a lot of us know, many marriages are short-lived and are never wholly true to begin with – a mere fantasy of ‘better-ness’ that never arrives. I wonder how many women would still want to commit to that man they believe is the one if they had to bare all in-front of family and friends? If marriage really means so much to people, then I believe that they should want to do it under any circumstance. Yet if all marriage really means to them is a chance to dress up and play princess for a day then they need to reconsider what they are doing.

Have a happy weekend x

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