I finished my body of work The Anatomy Lesson and I am developing new ideas to work on next year. In the meantime I'm doing finger exercises, making small sized landscapes, memories from my travels, in the real world and in my inner world. They help me to loosen my brush stroke, to smear my oils across the canvas as I explore new ways to paint. Here's the first small piece, with Pre Existing Condition to show the scale, they'll all be 18 by 24cm. It's a transitional project, until I'm ready to start painting on a new body of social commentary artwork in 2021.
Last time I wrote about how in the Pre Existing Condition Diptych 'figures' my focus is on the woman's womb, emphasising the swirly, flowery - ha! O'Keeffe - look of the grey shapes against the background.
Meanwhile I took an online course 'HERstory of Art,' in which we learned more about the many palaeolithic Venus figurines that were found all across Europe and beyond. I already posted about the figurines when I talked about the clay figures I made as part of The Anatomy Lesson body of work. Mostly, they are described as depictions of women, displaying the same body shape with the widest point at the abdomen and the female reproductive organs exaggerated. Oftentimes other details, such as the head and limbs, are neglected or absent which leads the figure to be abstracted to the point of simplicity. The heads are often of relatively small size and devoid of detail. Some may represent pregnant women, while others show no indication of pregnancy. There is also an more analytic study of the figurines as diamondlike structures, showing how much these figurines are in fact almost 'one and the same', considered mostly as a symbol of the cycles of nature, fertility, birth, and women as the bearers of life therein.
That schematic study totally resonates with the construction of my diptych, emphasis on womb, full belly, women as bearers of life, the diamond structure translates in flower structure in my paintings. I suddenly felt totally immersed in and connected to my primal roots in that ancient palaeolithic European, matriarchal (aka egalitarian) culture. And I felt completely comforted.