I realized I haven't posted in several months. So sorry! I've been busy creating a new body of figurative work for an upcoming exhibit. This painting, of Wanjiru with a red moon, is a new one. This series is of bodies in nature, and I wanted to paint a strong, beautiful, badass woman who is deeply connected to nature.
John Singer Sargent, Franz Kline, and Jean-Michel Basquiat Get PhotoBombed!
I haven't posted in a while, because I've been busy painting my homages to iconic artworks.
This month I tackled 3 very different styles: Sargent's realistic rendering, Kline's abstract expressionism, and Basquiat's emotional grafitti painting. I hope these bring a smile!
An ongoing series combines 2 of my passions: Art and Animals! I'm delighted to share these humorous paintings, because I think we all need to smile more. Nothing is cuter than animals photobombing: they live in the moment and are unconcerned with documenting their lives on social media. Half the fun was pairing the perfect animal to iconic artwork. Choosing favorite artists to copy allowed me to study their works in depth. I didn't copy them "stroke for stroke" and I used my own color palette, but I followed them close enough that the viewer instantly recognizes the master work.
Homages to Frida Kahlo, Toulouse Lautrec, Jackson Pollock, Gustav Klimt, and Georgia O'Keefe are all 12" x 12," oil on aluminum panel.
Part of my series of bodies in nature, I chose a ballroom dancer for two reasons. First, it's a world I know well, as I was a competitive Latin dancer for over 20 years. Second, the dancer is a nice juxtaposition to the natural cavern background. This piece is a gentle reminder that we are connected to the natural world.
Third in my series of bodies in nature, I added a rich purple to my limited palette. This one came together so easily: my model Karla was a dream to work with, I got to use a kimono I bought (but never used) several years ago, and my godson Eli provided the perfect sky photo as reference. So many wonderful connections; the most important one being the deep connection all 3 of us have to the earth.
Note: if she looks overly tall, it's because I had her stand on a chair. I love the regal result!
What's cuter than an animal photobomb? Just for fun, I decided to combine my two favorite things: cute critters and iconic artworks. It's a daunting task to copy master artists, so I gave myself permission to paint them my way, instead of trying to copy their strokes. I'm having so much fun, this is quickly turning into a series! Hope you enjoy them, too.
I'm Pretty and I know it (Warhol), 12" x 12"
Cats Don't Care (Van Gogh) (look closely to see the cat scratching the portrait), 12" x 12"
Mouse with a Pearl Necklace (Vermeer), 12" x 12"
I've always thought that reclining bodies are similar to rolling hills. This new series explores our connection to nature. If we acknowledge that connection, perhaps we can stop destroying the earth and her inhabitants.
My final piece for the Heroines + Warriors + Goddesses show at Link & Pin Gallery in Austin, Texas, September 1-30. (Reception is Sat, 9/8, 7-9 pm)
This one is close to home. Jennifer is an example that talent and discipline do pay off. I’ve embraced her limited palette (seen at the top of the painting), although our colors end up looking pretty different. When she told me she paints colors she would like to eat, this concept popped in my head. I hope this speaks to her playful side.
I'm really looking forward to this show, honoring many amazing women who blazed a trail for us. Many thanks to Link & Pin for hosting the three of us! Please join us for the reception on September 8 from 7-9 pm.
Pflugerville Public Library | July 14-September 13
(opening reception Sunday, July 15, 4-6 pm)
Artists: Meena Matocha | Akirash | Rhea Pettit | Gabe Langholtz | Amie Stone King | Wendy Layne
I'm so excited to be part of this show! It all started when I found out that Meena Matocha, an artist friend of mine, lives a mere 3 blocks from me. We wondered what other Austin artists actually live in Pflugerville (one exit north of Austin).
Meena spearheaded this project, which is sponsored by Pflugerville Arts Council; she found and invited the artists. We are showing narrative work, and there is a story behind each piece; genres include figurative, still life, collage, and abstract sculpture.
Some I've shown with in the past, and some are new friends. All are incredibly talented artists, whether they are emerging or established creators.
We hope this show creates interest in local art, and to find other Pflugerville artists and build our community here.
This venue is family friendly, so come meet us and see some great art!
Rhea Groepper Pettit
New works, new ideas.