Meownica Studio

Broad Strokes / 2022

I blew a tire in ye olde creativity pot hole, so while reading 'Broad Strokes: 15 women who made art and made history' by Bridget Quinn, I drew something for each chapter, in a forced but consistent style. The first ones are embarassingly bad; by the end, however, I had a fresh new tire.

Artemisia Gentileschi, a woman who refused to be quiet and soft, and who dared to paint like men did.

Judith Leyster, a woman whose paintings were so good that they were mistakenly attributed to Frank Hals, a famous painter of the era. I continued exploring with “blobs of colour”, and the source photo really didn’t do me any favours. Everything came up either rabbitty or clowny.

Marie Denise Villers, another woman who was ignored by the patriarchy. The Met lost their mind when they acquired this painting in 1917, attributed to a man. In 1951 a historian said ‘well, actually’, but Villers didn’t get credit until 1977.

Rosa Bonheur, the first woman to be awarded by the Legion of Honour in France. She needed a literal doctor’s note to wear her illegal pants in 1850.

Edmonia Lewis, the first Black woman sculptor. I knew that I had no chance of capturing the details in this sculpture of Cleopatra, so instead I went for a simplified sketch, where if you squint long enough the triangles will start making sense.

Paula Modersohn-Becker, the first to paint nude self portraits. I felt I had become complacent in simplifying a painting and drawing it with 3 pencils, so I moved to the digital space, while still trying to keep the ‘strokiness’ of the style I was going for.

Vanessa Bell, who is Virginia Woolf’s sister, and a very bold, post-impressionist painter.

Alice Neel, a woman whose sadness comes through in her paintings. Her style — loose lines, free of anxiety and neuroticism is not something I understand and can produce, so I struggled trying to make something out of it.

Lee Krasner, someone I make a point to bring up every time anyone mentions Jackson Pollock: ‘ughhhh he’s like a lesser Lee Krasner’.

Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison is a very early painting of hers I didn’t know about. Literally meaning ‘woman house’ in French, but actually meaning ‘house wife’

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