Tag Archive | strength

Vitalik Dumyn

Vitalik Dumyn is an artist from Ukraine who works mostly in water-colour and pencil. While I can’t find too much information about the artist, I stumbled upon these red and blue pencil drawings which I find quite cool. The layering creates an anaglyph 3D effect – I wonder if you looked at them with 3D glasses if anything would change?  The energy each subject exudes is strong and feminine making the collective series quite powerful. It would appear that Vitalik is relatively new to the art word (online, anyway) so I look forward to seeing how his art develops. From my experience, the first few years can be quite varied and experimental as you are waiting to find your distinctive style and aesthetic. I’m two (serious) years into my art and, while always experimenting and trying new things myself, my style is definitely formed and recognisable. For any of you reading this who don’t know what my art looks like, you can take a look on my recently updated website to get acquainted! For those of you that know my work already you can just relax and enjoy these striking images below.

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Three Wise Women

Who needs Three Wise Men when you can have Three Wise Women? In preparation for Christmas, here are some images that can help to get us into the season in a more contemporary fashion. Yeah, that’s right, with female power! I hope you are all looking forward to a great Christmas, whatever way you choose to celebrate! xx

Julie Filipenko

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Mab Graves

mab graves runaways

Anna McKay

Trinity

Pierre Mornet

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mark ryden anna-dittmann.jpeg.pagespeed.ic.6fbP37Rc0V Like sniffing dogs web

Nikita Kaun

I came across some of Nikita Kaun‘s work a few moments ago and thought I just had to share some! I really love the darkness and evocative energy in each piece. Kaun is a self-taught artist working in Russia, which seems exactly like the right thing she should be doing judging on what I have seen so far. Enjoy and happy weekend to you all. xx

kaun trypophobia drama queen fuzzly Nikita_kaun_OLDHAB

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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!

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Self-Centred

It has been a while between posts, but I’m using my 26th birthday as an excuse. The celebrations kicked off on Saturday with a birthday brunch with my family, followed by a sunny day with friends and bubbles. For my actual birthday on Monday  I had a combination of work, short-story editing, beer, amazing food, more bubbles and great company. Considering it has been all about me, I thought I would showcase some of my artwork this week. It’s been a while since I’ve showcased my personal work so here’s a look at a range of my more recent work. To see more you can check out my website or follow me on Facebook for regular updates. That would make me happy. Peace and Love xx

anna mckay bathing charlottemoon-08 anna mckay white eyes Like sniffing dogs web anna mckay recline SONY DSC

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Alex Stoddard

These stunning photographs by Alex Stoddard highlight the raw connection between humans and nature. Women are seamlessly integrated into the delicious, dangerous environment or are shown breaking out of it with fierce dynamism. I love the earthy aspects to many of his pieces, with the third image shown here reminding me of scenes from Antichrist. I want to see these images moving and to delve deeper into their essence, however, I suppose they are perfect just as they are. What do you think?

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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.

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Milan Nenezic

Milan Nenezic is a fantastic, realistic painter. I love the colours in this image which is part of a series that captures moments often ignored in art. This one, called ‘The Moment After’, exudes a safe serenity and a heightened sensuality post intimacy. Evocative and emotional, Nenezic creates some truly fascinating paintings well worth exploring.

Moment After-milannenezic

Here are a few more images from this series that I particularly like.

The moment after Katarina- oil on canvas-  100cm x 140cm The moment after- oil on canvas- 100cm x 140cm

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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.

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Dark

Here’s a quick curation of five images that work beautifully with each other. They are all a little dark and mysterious as well as being utterly feminine. In order: Ellen Rogers, Feline ZegersPaulina Otylie SurysMira Nedyalkova and Sam Weber.

ellen rogers-222feline zelgers red pulsePaulina Otylie Surys. PhotographerMira Nedyalkovasam.webber2

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Rhiannon Schneiderman

I found Rhiannon Schneiderman‘s ‘Lady Mane’ series on The Ardorous (curated by Petra Collins) and fell in love with both the concept and execution. These amazing self-portraits reclaim pubic hair in a refreshing, beautiful manner. As women have fallen out with pubic hair, choosing to wax, shave, pluck and attempt anything for it to go away, I am happy to see a generation returning affection to the bush. Schneiderman’s series is all about empowerment, reclaiming femininity as a woman rather than adhering to male-approved versions. The series is powerful and highlights the hilarity of the modern-day emphasis given to make ones genitals fashionable. Each ‘lady mane’ is different and reminds us that, yes, it is okay to do whatever we want with out pubic hair. It is ours, nobody else should get a say. Here’s my four favourite pieces from the eight-part series. Enjoy x

Schneiderman2Rhiannon SchneidermanSchneiderman7 Schneiderman3

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Den of Foxes

I really enjoy this piece by Mandy Tsung. It is a little bit different to other work of hers that I have shared in that there is quite a complex background and story going on, but what really makes the piece stand out to me is how well the wood grain works as the wall. Amazing. In terms of subject, the woman is empowered in her sexuality which is always great to see. How she holds the fox tail reflects the ease with which women can gain control over men (shown as a butler here, a literal servant) by using one’s sexuality. A good, interesting piece to wrap up the week. Enjoy.

den of foxes

 

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Parker Fitzgerald

Dreamy, fantastical photography is what you can expect from the talented Parker Fitzgerald. Femininity and nature are always a winning combination as I find women are often heightened and empowered in these surroundings. I’m in love and will have to share more with you later! For now, here’s a few pieces to whet your appetite. Enjoy xx

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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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Move Monday: Lulu vs. Gaga

I found this mash-up on YouTube and was pretty impressed. I’m not always a fan of Lady Gaga’s music and had never heard this song before, but it is pretty catchy and the lyrics work well with the images of Lulu (Louise Brooks) from Pandora’s Box (Pabst, 1929). As you probably know, I love Louise Brooks. She is so captivating and enigmatic in a photograph and is even better in motion. For me, Brooks epitomises the Scorpio actor/actress. So much charisma, emotion and sincerity. Consider what your mind goes to when it thinks ‘black and white movie’ and then compare that with the fluid images you are about to see. A pity she wasn’t allowed to do more (cut out when the ‘talkies’ arrived), but such a privilege to be able to see her move, smile and shine as our cheeky yet passionate Lulu.

Enjoy xx

Ahh Louise…

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Anya Brock

Anya Brock creates amazing art and has a huge portfolio of work to choose from! I really love her ‘Painted Girls’ so these are what I am showcasing today. The Australian artist not only paints beautiful women but fun birds and animals. Australia has a lot of natural wild life and some pretty crazy birds so I can see where Brock may have found some inspiration. What I love about her work is the amazingly vibrant colour combinations. Each piece strongly connects to one another, but in each work there is also a uniqueness. Sexy and creative, Brock’s work captivates the viewer and leaves them empowered and alive. Her work reminds me of a fellow Australian artist, Mike McClean. He works in a similar manner, creating fun colours and textures to add an edge to the women he paints. Brock’s work is certainly polished and she has a distinctive style. Maybe one day when I have a fancy house I can hang some of her art, or better yet get her to paint an entire wall. She does work on large-scale pieces from time to time (there’s a few snaps of her murals at the bottom of this post). Enjoy! x

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA my love is selfish unframed1_600. anya brok the man in the sky has got my back1_56_600

Murals…

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Kemi Mai

I’m so in love with the stunning digital portraits Kemi Mai creates. At only 18 years of age, this British artist is sure to become a huge success. Each portrait has an intensity that really draws the viewer in. Mai places her female subjects in somewhat surreal settings to create a slightly off-beat images. The recurring turtle necks and plain jumpers create a carefree, yet slightly unsettling element that makes me think these girls are from a different time; certainly not your everyday, ordinary women. I love how captivating her work is and the realistic, digital style works really well will the subject matter. So excited to have found a new favourite! I look forward to seeing how this young artist progresses in her career. To get to know Kemi Mai a bit more, her Tumblr page features lost of Q+A and other insights, which you can check out here.

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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

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Andrea Hrnjak

I recently found Andrea Hrnjak‘s illustration and was immediately impressed. Her work is both feminine and evocative, taking beautiful women and empowering them with animal connections. Some are kind of tribal whereas others seem more modern and contemporary in subject matter. But all her stuff is great. She shared this beautiful piece on her Facebook today, wishing all her followers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It’s titled ‘We Own the Sky’ which is quite fitting for me as my friend gave me a cute folder for my birthday that says ‘La Nuit est a Nous’ which I recently discovered translates to ‘We Own the Night’ (similar enough!)

Here is ‘We Own the Sky’ (top image) and a few others I have saved over time. Enjoy, and I hope you are all having wonderful relaxing Sundays before the fun and chaos(?) of Christmas gets going.

we own the sky

andrea-walking with a ghost andrea hrnjak

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Simone Klimmeck

Berlin-based artist Simone Klimmeck creates stunning illustration and mixed-media works. Her aesthetic is feminine and fierce at the same time which gets The Visual Female’s seal of approval. Beauty, colour and texture bring these pieces to life. I love the combination of grayscale media with the vibrant prints and patterns Klimmeck chooses. To see more of her work visit her website.

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Tom Bagshaw

I found Tom Bagshaw on Facebook in the last couple of days and was blown away. Some of his work really connects to my aesthetic. While not every piece amazes me in such a way, the ones that do are absolutely fantastic. I have selected the pieces that I really enjoyed, but to see more visit his FB page or website where there is a wide selection to browse through.

portrait study - tom bagshawAudrey - Tom Bagshawbelow the surface - tom bagshawChasca - Tom Bagshaw

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Rod Luff

I’m loving the amazing, vibrant work of Sydney-based artist, Rod Luff. Beauty dominates these pieces, alongside neon colour and whimsical animals. What more could you want to liven up your Monday? Enjoy these lovely pieces, and see more at his Facebook or Tumblr pages.

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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.

XOOOOX

XOOOOX---Kalma-(CMYK)---2013---(137x109x0,7cm) XOOOOX---Laguna-Bay-II-(Silberberg)---2013---(114x79cm) XOOOOX---Rewind-(Silberberg)---2013---(80,5x70,2cm) XOOOOX---Transformer-I-(Laguna)---2013---(120x100cm) xooox

XOOOOX is a street artist from Berlin. His work is pretty wonderful – not only in aesthetics, but also because of what he is trying to communicate. Beautiful women stenciled onto grubby walls and surfaces. They are life-sized – I can only imagine their impact in real life. He takes photographs of models, styles and directs them how he wants, and uses them for his stencils. The message he wants to share: the beautiful illusion of the fashion industry with the alternate, commercialised reality.  The women vs. the wood.

I find this quote explains him a little better than I can (my impressions are only recent).

“Beguilingly beautiful, XOOOOX’s women convey a sense of melancholy and introversion and allude to the growing displeasure with the uniform, consumption-driven hype of the fashion industry. Using transitory media such as exposed building facades, worm-eaten wood, rotting fabric and rusty metal, XOOOOX grounds this apparently glamorous theme in the street, but the artist’s aim is not to deconstruct fashion culture. XOOOOX pays homage to traditional haute couture while levelling criticism at the over-industrialization of fashion as a cultural artefact of our time.”*

I like the visual impact and style of the work, and coupled with the message, find his work fresh and interesting. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what is next for the man with no name, XOOOOX.

*See the rest of the feature on XOOOOX here

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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.

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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.

agnes-cecile

my opinon of you

Silvia Pelissero aka agnes-cecile, makes wonderful art. A lot of her process is shown through video clips which are worth checking out. I follow her on Facebook and today she posted this piece titled “My Opinion About You’. I love it. I’m sure we all feel a little bit like this about some people, or ideas or concepts. Visit her website for links to places she shares her work. Or simply like her on Facebook. If you aren’t familiar with her, you must do some research. Her work is amazing. So talented. Enjoy.

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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

August

Visual Female of the Month is up! This month I check in with the wonderful water-colour artist Kelly McKernan. So if you want to see some good art and some inspiring thoughts, you must read her interview. Kelly was so professional to deal with, you can really tell she takes her art profession seriously. I love that about people! Maybe it’s something I should take on board a little more… Hah. But anyway, read Miss August, Miss Kelly McKernan, right now! (Or else your brain might shrink a little… well it won’t expand a little). Enjoy the weekend lovely readers xx

Martine Johanna

If you are yet to discover Dutch artist Martine Johanna, then this is your lucky day. Her work is just divine. It appeals to my aesthetic so much that I  seem to like pretty much every single piece she does. There is quite a lot of variety in her work, but within it I find myself drawn to every style, every idea. Variety can be quite rare for many artists as they often become very limited to one specific style. Which means, if you don’t like one piece, you probably won’t like any. On the other hand, a strong style can really appeal to certain people and give you a specific and devoted audience. But with Johanna I would hope that everyone could find a piece they liked. (And it’s simply a matter of bad taste if someone disagrees here). I will share the first pieces I stumbled upon (to make your first time like my first time, if you haven’t had a first already), but make sure to check out her website for a whole range of beautiful awesomeness. Dreamy, surreal, beautiful, erotic, nouveau, strange, mythical and fantastic are just a few words to describe it all. Do check it out. Here. Do it.

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Charlotte Free

I remember reading about Charlotte Free in an article in one of my mum’s magazines when I was visiting home quite a while ago. Only recently has she come back into my radar. Back then I thought she looked cool, and also sounded like a cool person. I still agree. Her name is very fitting, because ‘free’ is exactly how she appears. She is completely comfortable to be herself and that is rare and wonderful these days. I know pink hair is all the rage now, but I kind of imagine that she started it well before it acquired popularity. Plus, I’m pretty sure she still doesn’t shave her armpits, and I don’t think that will be making a comeback anytime soon. I love people who are comfortable to be themselves. And therefore I love Charlotte Free. And you should too. Here are a few snaps from her spread in Wonderland magazine. I love the quirky aspect to the shoot, the vibrancy, and the incorporation of nature and prints. Enjoy.

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June

Visual Female of the Month is up and waiting to be read. For the month of June I interview Rosie Herdman, a New Zealand model. She’s very talented and stunning, so check out the interview and accompanying images to see what this lady can do. Rosie was a pleasure to interact with and I wish her all the best in the rest of her (very promising) career.

Also, if you, or anyone you know seem like a good candidate for Visual Female of the Month, then please get in touch with me via my email located on my About page.

Elizaveta Porodina

Elizaveta Porodina makes beautiful photography and photo-collages, as seen below. There is a lovely ethereal nature to her work. Very feminine, very dreamy. The soft focus creates a mystical quality and the beautiful women as subject simply enhance this feminine mystique. It is nice to see a softer side to women that isn’t made to appear weak in any way. I see strength in her subjects. And while they may be in vulnerable positions at times, the essence is not of vulnerability. Femininity doesn’t have to mean weakness, and I worry that it can overlap like that in a negative way. Having beauty should make us feel strong and empowered rather than making one feel limited to their appearance. Porodina creates a beautiful balance between feminine softness (through photographic technique and posing) and an unspoken strength of character (from facial expression and essence of the models) that positions femininity in a positive and admirable light.

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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..

Jen Mann

I really enjoy Jen Mann’s work. It has a simple and raw quality to it while also being quite exquisite. Her series below shows a merging of women and animals. And while this combination is quite regularly done, I like what Mann brings to the table. Each painting has its own style that connects to the animal being portrayed. For example, the quick fox has a light painterly quality, while the heavy bear has a denser paint quality. So, not only are the women connected with their animal through their facial expressions and facial structure, but the essence of the animal is captured through the painting technique. It is not obvious, but it is certainly there. I will show some more of her work shortly, but for now, enjoy the animal series. Oh, and have a happy Easter!

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Charmaine Olivia

In my last Visual Female of the Month, the lovely Wesley Bird mentioned that she had a few art pieces in her room by Charmaine Olivia. I hadn’t heard of this artist, so promptly got onto some googling and found a big selection of her work. Olivia’s art is very sensual and feminine, using women as her subject matter very frequently. Within her art she has a range in style – from thought-out perfection, to organic illustrations. I like both, so here are a few of my favourites. Make sure to check out her website for a more comprehensive selection.

theartist charmainepainting avelinesketchbook-71there-are-rainbows-on-my-walls-charmaineoliviaocean hair - charmaine olivia

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.

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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?”

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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

This vs. That: Round Four

Well it’s time for my fourth edition of This vs. That. I’ve been enjoying doing these pieces so please make an effort to click on the link and actually read my writing – I know a picture is worth a thousands words, but I’ve got a few hundred to add too! This time I’m looking at some wonderful Street Art with both pieces incorporating a woman (no surprises there!) and an animal. Let me know if I picked the right winner, or if I’m plain out of my mind. Peace and happiness x

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mood board

Hey all! Hope you have had some good times over the holiday season, with more still to come.  I’ve been away so have been a bit slack with posting, but here’s something I was playing with before that I thought I would share.  Sometimes I get so fixated on having to be creative from scratch that I never bother doing anything.  But there’s no reason why creativity can’t just be playing or creating in any method, like I have done here. A kind of mood board for you all to ponder. Peace and happiness xx

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12 Kick Ass Women In Film

Well it’s 12/12/12 so I thought I’d do something a little different to celebrate.  Here’s my personal list of who I think are 12 truly fierce women in film.

12. Eli (Let the Right One In)

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Sure she’s a vampire, but she’s pretty mellow until you fuck with her friend.  Then she’ll tear you to pieces and teach you right for trying to drown a kid. The Swedish version is better in my opinion (especially in terms of this character, but also the cat scene – check it if you haven’t yet).

11. Dr. Dakota Block (Planet Terror)

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This woman is pretty damn tough, even breaking her hand to get away from the chaos and save herself.  Ups for her determination and ability to make things work.

10. Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

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Generally a tough woman, Lisbeth impressed me by degrading and permanently leaving her mark on her rapist.  One woman you don’t mess with.  Super smart and super fierce, a pretty good combo.

9. Erin Hardesty (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

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Erin really comes to light in the final scenes of this film.  Not only does she cut off Leatherface’s arm but gets maternal and saves the baby from those creeps.  And, what I really appreciate is her ability to make sure people are dead.  She runs that Sheriff over enough times to guarantee he’s gone, because there is nothing worse than seeing the killer slowly stand back up.

8. Sidney Prescott (Scream and sequels)

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Sidney Prescott is like Michael Myers in that she just doesn’t seem to die.  Scream after Scream she makes it to the end.  I especially enjoyed her in Scream 4.  Got to love the empowered woman who refuses to be anyone’s victim.  Tough as nails and definitely worthy of being on this list.

7. Anna (Martyrs)

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This French film was pretty hard to watch and stuck with me for a long time.  Definitely not for the faint hearted.  But Anna is certainly a tough woman.  Enduring far too much and not really having the ability to fight back, her steely way of disconnecting with pain allows her to survive much, much longer than anyone could imagine.  A true martyr, who has her own way of getting her final say.

6. Alice (Resident Evil and sequels)

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Not only is she hot, but Milla Jovovich knows how to kick some butt. Pretty much unable to be killed, and so awesome that the evil guys make clones of her, Alice is the ultimate kick ass heroine.

5. Cherry (Planet Terror)

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This hot babe is not only a fierce woman, but manages to turn her amputated leg into a hardcore machine gun.  Killing who she needs to and surviving to the end, Cherry is pretty damn awesome.

4. Jennifer Hills (I Spit on Your Grave)

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Provoked in all ways, Jennifer is simply a woman who is looking for some time out.  But, heaven forbid she happens to be attractive and thus asking for some gang banging rape action.  Sadly, those men don’t know what’s coming for them, and, in post-rape revenge, Jennifer lures them back (under the pretense of forgiveness and more sex) to kill them all. The idiots buy this and one even loses his penis courtesy of Jennifer. Pretty out there for 1978 – I hear there is a remake but I haven’t seen this yet.

3. Dawn (Teeth)

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Another great movie.  Teeth tells the old vagina dentata myth through our leading lady Dawn.  Her vagina has a mind (and teeth) of it’s own and if any man tries to push himself inside, off with his head…  At first Dawn doesn’t like that she has this power, but after rape at the river, gynecologists doing ‘tightness tests’ and boys betting to bang her, Dawn finally embraces what she has got, and watch out dodgy truck driver.

2. Baby Firefly (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects)

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Who can forget Baby?  Sure, she’s more of a villain than a heroine, but isn’t it great to see a woman holding the knife? Sexy, silly and armed with good wit, Baby get’s my vote. Sheri Moon Zombie sure plays it good. Ahahahaa.

1. Beth (Hostel 2)

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Now, I might get some disagreement from this one, but I really rate Hostel 2.  Tarantino does a great job at mixing horror and humour and Beth is our ultimate heroine. Getting out of almost inevitable death, she uses her charm to dupe Paul who is about to kill her and enacts her own revenge.  After all, not only did her kill her friend, but her called her a c*nt.  And nobody calls Beth a c*nt.  A great film for those feminist film fans, or anyone that likes to see an overcompensating excuse for a man get his dick cut off.

Audrey Again

Just because she is so great, I wanted to share some more of Audrey Kawasaki’s work. These two might be near the top of my favourite list, but then she has produced so many amazing pieces how can one really pick? I love the expressions of the women in both images. I’ve only noticed now, looking at them together, that they are almost identical (which may be why I like both these pieces a lot). They are so seductive but in that subtle way Kawasaki captures like no other. The brink of innocence and sexual knowing – an intriguing and well explored subject matter (think Egon Schiele especially).  And I mustn’t neglect the movement that is created through the hair in both pieces.  It adds such a dreamy, otherworldly aspect which I adore.

So, to sum up, Kawasaki is amazingly awesome and I’m in love. I hope you are too.

Miss Led

I came across Miss Led (a.k.a Joanna Henley) a wee while ago when researching illustrators.  She’s on illustrationweb, which is a pretty fantastic source to use to find illustrators and inspiration.  I instantly fell in love with her work, but being busy with study, didn’t really do much research or exploration into her work that wasn’t featured on that site.  It is only recently that I have looked a bit further and discovered some other cool pieces she has done.  Here’s a wee selection of pieces that I like.

I especially like seeing how her work is designed to be exhibited daily, be it in bathrooms, bath houses or stores.  She truly has huge talent and can produce a diverse range of art and illustration (see her talent here).  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a mural done by her for a wall in your house? Oooh the possibilities!

Louise Brooks, I love you!

I fell in love with Louise Brooks while I was studying film at University.  As part of a silent film paper we watched G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box (1929).  Brooks is the leading lady and totally blew me away.  Like the men she ‘destroys’ in the film, I was truly taken by her.  She honestly has such a charisma and it jumps out of the screen.  I love her cheeky expressions and how easily she fools men.  Using sexuality to manipulate men is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but Brooks just did it so well.  From what I recall, Brooks was originally thought of as a bad actress because her gestures and expressions weren’t as over the top as the acting style was then.  As the films were silent, hugely exaggerated actions were used to compensate (as well as extra long descriptor titles… oh my, those films are so, so long… it can be somewhat trying).  Brooks, however, was able to convey emotion and what not in more subtle ways through her extremely awesome facial expressions and mannerisms. I suppose enough people liked her and she made a few films (often in Germany) until the ‘talkies’ came along and she was cut from the scene (apparently this sexy siren didn’t have such a hot movie voice).

I love her acting style and certainly remember her for her films.  I know others probably only remember her for her infamous haircut.  Say “Louise Brooks bob” to anyone and they’ll know what you’re talking about.  Incase you haven’t seen her without the fringe though check it out below.

I also love that she did some nude pictures.  Considering the time, it’s pretty out there.  It’s great to see strong, independent women doing what they want.  I think Louise Brooks was a good example of this type of woman.

Louise Brooks, I love you!

Man Ray

I’m a huge fan of Man Ray.  His work is just amazing.  (Plus he’s also a Virgo like me, so that’s pretty cool).

Although this isn’t one of my favourite pieces, it’s a pretty classic, recognisable one.  And I thought it was worth sharing seeing I found this modern take on it below.

Certainly more erotic, but I really like it.  It’s got a raw, sexy energy and showcases the female form beautifully.  I think the fact that she has her legs open in a kind of crouching position definitely sexualises it.  But to me, she is empowered and showing strength through sexuality.  Not a submissive female, which is always great to see.  And almost certainly the throwback to Man Ray adds an artistic, sophisticated feel and moves it past something that could be considered pornographic.

Nice work.

Eostre

copyright Anna McKay 2012

This is a painting I did.  I was hoping to make it to the New Zealand Art Show and sell some work, but it seemed that the judges didn’t like me.  Never mind, now I get to keep it.  I haven’t actually ever sold any art yet.  I would like to as it would be great to get some income and also to know that people have liked and purchased my work!

I used acrylics on paper to make this image.  I really like it.  Her face is so simple (i.e. not much shadow / shading on her skin), but I tried to put nice detail into her eyes and lips so they grab you and draw you in.  I love striking art that you can’t just walk past.  So much stuff out there is good, but a lot of it you might not notice unless you were purposefully looking.  I think this is why I love portraits.  They are certainly harder to ignore, especially when the eyes take you on, or follow you around the room.  Beats landscapes for me any day.  But that’s just me.  What do you prefer?  Painting with people in them, or painting without people??

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