Women Painters - ('FINE ART' only)

A group for women painters and their traditional art

Art Featuring the Nature of Women

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

“What, Sir, would the people of the earth be without woman,” Mark Twain teased in a speech in 1868?
“They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce,” he followed.

Mark Twain could say things that others could not, with a sly wit that is hard to match. So I will use Twain’s
quotes on women, as a kind of foil for some of the more serious commentary that may command your attention, below.

 


The Nature of Women

Who can define it?

Here are some bits and pieces for your enjoyment, by some who have tried.

 

On speaking ones mind

“It is my conviction that women are the natural orators of the race.”
Eliza Archard Connor, U.S. suffragist
History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 9
by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)

But on a similar note, Mark Twain, writer and humorist, said,
“Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women.”
from Experience of the McWilliamses with Membraneous Croup

 

Regarding the dramatic arts

“The dramatic art would appear to be rather a feminine art; it contains in itself all the artifices which belong to
the province of woman: the desire to please, facility to express emotions and hide defects, and the faculty of
assimilation which is the real essence of woman.”

Sarah Bernhardt, French actress (1845–1923)
The Art of the Theatre (1924)

Mark Twain, with typical wit, says novelists, on the other hand, get it all wrong—
“The reason novelists nearly always fail in depicting women…, is that they let them do what they have observed
some woman has done at some time or another….[T]hat is where they make a mistake; for a woman will never
do again what has been done before
.” [emphasis mine]

 

On womanhood

“A fruit is not afraid of its own weight. It grows into its skin fully. It is whole, each part of its body equally alive.”
Gayle Brandeis from Fruitflesh

Twain wrote in Adam’s Diary, “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning;
it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”


Flaming June
by Fredrick Lord Leighton (1830-1896)
ref, public domain statement

 

On conviction and power

“Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak … you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.”
Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1533–1603)
The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 11
by Frederick Chamberlin (1923)


Elizabeth I (Armada Portrait), circa 1588
commemorating the defeat of the Spanish Armada
by George Gower (1540-1596)
Oil on panel
133 × 105 cm (52.4 × 41.3 in)
ref, public domain statement

The portrait of Queen Elizabeth by George Gower, with her hand on the globe, was painted to symbolize her global power,
after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. She said to her troops mustered in Essex, “My loving people… I know
I have the body but of a week and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too,
and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm.”

The United States Military announced just this week that women troops will now be allowed in combat on the front lines,
whereas previously they were in support roles and also deployed as fighter pilots. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Israel
(which has forced inscription), Germany, France, Poland, Romania, North Korea, and most all of the Scandinavian countries
deploy women to the front lines. This list is not exhaustive.

In his autobiography (circa 1900), Mark Twain said, “There is nothing comparable to the endurance of a woman. In military
life she would tire out an army of men, either in camp or on the march.”

Who knew?

I leave you with one more “combatant”, who has been painted a myriad of times, in many different styles— the biblical “Judith”,
who, in the story, charms an Assyrian General— Holofernes, and then beheads him; so that Israel can counter the Assyrian attack.
Even if it is not historical (it is excluded from Jewish sacred texts); what is of consequence is that it has inspired numerous
paintings about the courage and resolve of Judith, loyal and willing to fight for her cause
.


Judith I
by Gustav Klimt
Biblical “Judith” holding the head of Assyrian General Holofernes
ref, public domain statement

 

Regarding empathy and conscious choices

“The question has been asked, ‘What is a woman?’ A woman is a person who makes choices. A woman is a dreamer.
A woman is a planner. A woman is a maker, and a molder. A woman is a person who makes choices. A woman builds bridges.
A woman makes children and makes cars. A woman writes poetry and songs. A woman is a person who makes choices.
You cannot even simply become a mother anymore. You must choose motherhood. Will you choose change?
Can you become its vanguard?

Eleanor Holmes Norton (b. 1937), U.S. lawyer and social activist
at a Wellesley College commencement speech,
when serving as New York City Commissioner of Human Rights
from Crazy Salad, by Nora Ephron (1972)


Woman with Dead Child, 1903
by Käthe-Kollwitz
etching
ref, public domain statement

 

Käthe Kollwitz (Prussian, German 1867-1945) expressed empathy for those in unfortunate circumstances, with her
drawings, etchings, lithography, and woodcuts, throughout two world wars. About her subjects, she said,
“People from the bourgeois sphere were altogether without appeal or interest. All middle-class life seemed pedantic
to me. On the other hand, I felt the proletariat had guts. It was not until much later…when I got to know the women who
would come to my husband for help, and incidentally also to me, that I was powerfully moved by the fate of the
proletariat and everything connected with its way of life…. But what I would like to emphasize once more is that
compassion and commiseration were at first of very little importance in attracting me to the representation of proletarian life;
what mattered was simply that I found it beautiful.”

from Käthe Kollwitz: Works in Color, by Tom Fecht, Random House, 1988

Christina Rossetti, the poet, sensitively wrote, “Better by far you should forget and smile than you should remember and be sad.”
In one of her short poems, she writes:
Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.

Her famous brother, Dante Rossetti, drew this portrait of her in chalk.


Christina Rossetti
by Dante Rossetti
ref, public domain statement

 

On painting

Tamara de Lempicka said, “I was the first woman, who did clear painting and that was the success of my painting
and the galleries began to put me in the best rooms, always in the center, because my paintings attracted people.
It was neat; it was finished.”


Tamara de Lempicka, self portrait, circa 1941
Crayon on light blueish paper
37 × 28 cm (14 5/8 × 11 in)
ref, fair use rational:
educational use to show the artist’s view of herself; small, low resolution image

The following sobering thought is attributed to Frida Kahlo:
“I am not sick… I am broken… but I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint….”

 

 

—F.A. Moore

©2013, F.A. Moore. All rights reserved.


 

What speaks to you?

  1. Is your nature reflected in the subjects you choose to paint, or how you paint them?
  2. Do you feel there is a discernable masculine approach, versus feminine approach to art?
  3. How do you think we might subconsciously portray our own inner characteristics in a painting?

I hope you might also be curious about what other women painters are going through, as they work on a piece,
and thus share a little of yourself for the sake of others. Yes! Yes, indeed we want to know about you
and your work!

 


Please enjoy our catalog and showcase of paintings from members, which we think speak volumes about the Nature of Women.

Lynda Robinson and I teamed up for this special feature, brought to you on behalf of all hosts and members of Women Painters.

—Frannie Moore


 

Catalog


Gai Waterhouse: ‘The Lady Trainer’
by Elizabeth/Liz Moore Golding

Oil on linen,
86 × 118 cm.
 
Leader, Commanding, Confident

Mother love
by Lynda Harris

after a photo by Eric Lafforgue
Acrylics on A4 acrylic paper
 
Nurturing, Loving, Child-bearing

slice of lemon
by Claudia Dingle

Watercolour, Horadam paints on Canson paper 300g,
29.7 × 42 cm.
 
Fun-loving, Sociable

 


Tear
by BarbBarcikKeith

Colored pencil on gray matboard
20 × 16 in.
 
Emotional, Vulnerable

Defenders of Truth Series #2/Fire of Faith
by Tahnja

Acrylic impasto on stretched canvas
16 × 12 in.
 
Faithful, Loyal, Grateful

Florbela Espanca – There is a spring in every life
by Madalena Lobao-Tello

of the Portuguese poet
Acrylic on canvas
 
Poetic, Philosophical, Thought-provoking, Inspiring

 


Apache Colors
by Susan Bergstrom

Acrylic on stretched canvas
16 × 20 in.
 
Survivor, Adaptable, Genuine

Circe
by MoonSpiral

Acrylic on panel
12 × 12 in.
 
Dreamer, Romantic, Nature-loving

Passion and reason
by Helenka

Acrylic on canvas
 
 
Passionate, Contemplative

 


Portrait of Margaret
by Lynda Robinson

Pastel on Colourfix Paper
35 × 50 cm.
 
Convivial, Spirited

Kantele
by Annika Hiltunen

Soft pastels and colored pencils
A3 size
 
Caring, Responsible

RAPSITY IN BLOOM
by kimberlysdream

Acrylic on canvas
 
 
Dramatic, Creative

 

 


 

Presenting selected works depicting the Nature of Women, by Women Painters

  1. the curators’ “nature” notes, in bold below each work, represent a quality that comes strongly
    through the work, but is not necessarily the opinion of the artist. You may see something different.

 


 


Gai Waterhouse: ‘The Lady Trainer’. Elizabeth Moore Golding 2012 Ⓒ.
by Elizabeth/Liz Moore Golding

Oil on linen,
86 × 118 cm.
 
Leader, Commanding, Confident

 


 


Mother love
by Lynda Harris

after a photo by Eric Lafforgue
Acrylics on A4 acrylic paper
 
Nurturing, Loving, Child-bearing

 


 


slice of lemon
by Claudia Dingle

Watercolour, Horadam paints on Canson paper 300g,
29.7 × 42 cm.
 
Fun-loving, Sociable

 


 


Tear
by BarbBarcikKeith

Colored pencil on gray matboard
20 × 16 in.
 
Emotional, Vulnerable

 


 


Defenders of Truth Series #2/Fire of Faith
by Tahnja

Acrylic impasto on stretched canvas
16 × 12 in.
 
Faithful, Loyal, Grateful

 


 


Florbela Espanca – There is a spring in every life
by Madalena Lobao-Tello

of the Portuguese poet
Acrylic on canvas
 
Poetic, Philosophical, Thought-provoking, Inspiring

 


 


Apache Colors
by Susan Bergstrom

Acrylic on stretched canvas
16 × 20 in.
 
Survivor, Adaptable, Genuine

 


 


Circe
by MoonSpiral

Acrylic on panel
12 × 12 in.
 
Dreamer, Romantic, Nature-loving

 


 


Passion and reason
by Helenka

Acrylic on canvas
 
 
Passionate, Contemplative

 


 


Portrait of Margaret
by Lynda Robinson

Pastel on Colourfix Paper
35 × 50 cm.
 
Convivial, Spirited

 


 


Kantele
by Annika Hiltunen

Soft pastels and colored pencils
A3 size
 
Caring, Responsible

 


 


RAPSITY IN BLOOM
by kimberlysdream

Acrylic on canvas
 
 
Dramatic, Creative

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

Congratulations Kimberly, Annika Hiltunen, Lynda Robinson, Helenka, Tammy, Susan Bergstrom, Madalena Lobao-Tello,
Tahnja, Barb Barcik Keith, Claudia Dingle, Lynda Harris, and Liz Moore Golding

We invite all of our members viewing this to share your thoughts on portraying character, especially in women.

Shani Sohn Shani Sohn 1041 posts

What a gorgeous collection! Congratulations to these very talented artists.

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

Shani, greetings! Thanks for coming by to see. I love the support especially of those whose art is not featured that particular time.
We all need to lend support to our fellow artists. Great to see you!

Lynda Harris Lynda Harris 141 posts

Thankyou for featuring Mother Love in this great collection. You have put in so much work with this Fran and I thankyou for that too. I especially like Claudia’s painting Slice of Lemon – love the sense of mischief in it!! :-)))

Madalena Lobao-Tello Madalena Lobao... 6823 posts

Once again we have an excellent gallery of features to enjoy!
Thanks so much for choosing my artwork to stand among them!!! I am truely honored!

Fabulous collection of works…Congratulations Kimberly, Annika Hiltunen, Lynda Robinson, Helenka, Tammy, Susan Bergstrom,
Tahnja, Barb Barcik Keith, Claudia Dingle, Lynda Harris, and Liz Moore Golding

Madalena Lobao-Tello Madalena Lobao... 6823 posts

Frannie and Lynda

You 2 really have a very good criteria to choose your favorites! Congratulations!!

And…the introduction is a true wonder. Very good research and presentation of a topic that I really love! GREAT JOB!!

I contribute with this great quote of Simone de Beauvoir:

  • “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
    The Second Sex
F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

Oooo, great quote, @Mada. That is thought provoking. Yes, I guess we are born female and become a woman. Good one!
And you are so welcome. I love the state of deep thought portrayed for your poet. It’s wonderful!

And @Lynda, Mother’s Love is inspiring. Her face just glows. Yes, Claudia’s painting is special, including that delicious looking Margarita.
Thank you, too!

Susan Bergstrom Susan Bergstrom 544 posts

Thanks so much Frannie for this wonderful Feature for “Apache Colors”! …I am so pleased and Honored!

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

@Susan, I imagine her very proud of her Apache heritage. It’s an honor to be able to feature her.

Elizabeth Moore Golding Elizabeth Moor... 145 posts

Frannie – what a great (illustrated) read! Most interesting. And it has prompted me to add a quote I have found regarding women and their art, from an artist called Marion Boddy-Evans, who paints some of the wild and beautiful countryside and sea on the Ilse of Skye where she lives. http://isleofskyeart.com/
She says of art: ‘I believe art is foremost for the artist who creates it. You do it for your soul, and if the rest of the world gets something from it, that’s a bonus’.

As for the inclusion of my portrait of horse-trainer Gai Waterhouse in this wonderful collection, I am indeed flattered. Thank you so much.

Claudia Dingle Claudia Dingle 688 posts

What a fantastic and thought-provoking selection. I’ll have to come back tonight after work to write a proper reply. For now, thank you for including my painting. I feel very honored that it’s part of this gorgeous selection.

Madalena Lobao-Tello Madalena Lobao... 6823 posts

Elizabeth

Marion Boddy-Evans is a great artist and the quote is wonderful!
Thanks to share with us!!

Madalena Lobao-Tello Madalena Lobao... 6823 posts

Frannie

I think your introduction should be read several times. I’ve enjoyed it and when I re-read it, I liked it most!!

Claudia Dingle Claudia Dingle 688 posts
To answer your questions….

1) Is your nature reflected in the subjects you choose to paint, or how you paint them?

Oh definitely! But as a woman I can be as contrary as I like of course :) – so my paintings are just that: sometimes happy, sometimes sad. Always I hope true to myself and who I am. Sometimes I even leave works unpublished because they feel too personal.

2) Do you feel there is a discernable masculine approach, versus feminine approach to art?

I suppose the general view is that males are more methodical and logical whereas women are more intuitively painting, more emotional and maybe even irrational. But that only goes so far. I truly think that when a painter starts to forget about painting techniques because (s)he has mastered the art, then what (s)he paints truly comes from within and then it’s the soul which paints, no matter if male or female.

3) How do you think we might subconsciously portray our own inner characteristics in a painting?

We can only paint what we know. So if I paint a lonely woman it shows that I felt loneliness before. The same applies to every other emotion. My goal is even to recognize myself in artworks, hopefully others find themselves in my art too at times. If we can connect via our words, paintings and expressions then it is by “getting it”; by recognizing the soul of another person in their artworks. Then we are not alone in this world and we can even understand ourselves better by watching others… well, maybe :)

Cindy Schnackel Cindy Schnackel 5001 posts

Very interesting thread, beautiful examples. Congrats to the featured RB artists! Yes, there are many women artists who were every bit as talented as their male peers, and many pieces of art that depict women beautifully. Not doing realistic people, I do very few women, or very few humans really, and gender is often ambiguous! But I’ll attempt to answer the questions posed:

Is your nature reflected in the subjects you choose to paint, or how you paint them?

Do you feel there is a discernable masculine approach, versus feminine approach to art?

How do you think we might subconsciously portray our own inner characteristics in a painting?

1. Yes, I have come to realize that most of my creatures reflect human nature, which would include me.

2. I often cannot tell if a painting was done by a man or a woman, so I think that equality is alive and well in at least some aspects of art, from the creation process to the business side.

3. Some of my birds are partially human, e.g. they have my hair or a semi human face, and are a little bit of a self portrait. But the real depiction that might be of my own thoughts is in the emotions and situations the characters are in. Those would be more about human nature in general than about me, but bits of me do creep in without consciously planning it.

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

I love the discussion beginning here, and the additional quotes, too. Your thoughts, Claudia, Cindy, Mada, and Liz so enhance this article and feature.

Beatrice Cloake Beatrice Cloake 9139 posts

A delightful subject Frannie! I love all your chosen pieces. A huge congratulations to all artists who have their paintings on display.

I always feel difficult to have to state which sex is an artist. We should not have to say that we are female artists in front of paintings on display, but alas we have to, this is to be able to be acknowledge as good as men artists.
I still think that most women painters have a special touch when it comes to paint children or other women. There is a gentleness that we catch within our eyes and souls that men will not express as well as we do !!! :)

■*Is your nature reflected in the subjects you choose to paint, or how you paint them?*
I would think so. I have been named as a romantic. I surely am! I love roses (men rarely love painting flowers) I paint still lives, portraits, landscapes…
When it comes to my canvas landscapes some people have thought that they were painted by a man. I might have a masculine side LOL

■*Do you feel there is a discernable masculine approach, versus feminine approach to art?*
This will never change! We have a lot of macho male artists who will never agree to the concept that a woman can be as good if any better than a man. It carries on with some of the public buyer.

■*How do you think we might subconsciously portray our own inner characteristics in a painting?*
By the choice of our subjects, the colours, the style. I do believe that women have a more sensitive character and live though a lot more emotions that men (example: giving birth) we are ready to sacrifice years of our Art to bring up family.
Berthe Morisot is such an example of us all!

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

Beatrice, you have illuminated areas of the female psyche that might be at play in art by woman:

  1. choice of and sensitivity to the subject,
  2. ability to express subtleties associated with femininity (such as gentleness), and
  3. sacrifice for family.

This dovetails with what Claudia said, about “painting what we know”; but also with Cindy’s description of how her
partially human characters might reflect her own thoughts and emotions, if in the situations laid out for the characters.

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

Perhaps it is often, that subject matter is the primary difference in approach to art by gender; or at least might give one a clue.
If so, the lines must certainly be blurring by now, 500+ years after the Renaissance. This could explain why it’s hard to tell,
with a new work, whether it is created by a man or woman (Cindy); and why your landscapes (Beatrice) might be thought to
have been painted by a man.

For instance, Beatrice, what names come immediately to mind for landscapes/seascapes: (thinking out loud…)
Turner, Homer, Delacroix, Church, Constable, Titian, Monet, Van Gogh, Courbet, Velasco, Gainsborough… the list goes on.
Where are the women? So this may be a matter of “history” rather than a “masculine side”.

Madalena Lobao-Tello Madalena Lobao... 6823 posts

Wow!!! I love this topic!

May be you want to see this articule “Women, Art and Gender: A History” by Jeannie Shubitz
http://www.ic.arizona.edu/ic/mcbride/ws200/wome...

" …Since antiquity, women have created art and not received recognition for doing so. It is difficult to obtain a proper history of women in art because many records have been manipulated, and a great number of works by women have been credited to their male teachers or relatives, as it was believed that no truly great art could be created by a woman. (Heller, 1987) A large number of artists from antiquity remain unknown, and many are of the opinion that perhaps “anonymous was a woman” (NMWA, 1998, p. 1). We know that women were creating art during this period through discoveries of unaltered records and images of women artists working, yet there are relatively few known female artists of this time. Hypothetically, if not in truth, we may conclude that works were better received with artist unknown, rather than to be attached to the name of a woman. Clearly it was an unacceptable notion that a woman was capable of creating great art. …"

Madalena Lobao-Tello Madalena Lobao... 6823 posts

I do not know if you know “Mafalda” created by Quino. There is a moment in which Mafalda says “The problem with history is that men have had a role, and women a cleaning cloth” In Spanish the phrase has a very clear sense, because instead of using the word role Quino use the word paper.

kimberlysdream kimberlysdream 10 posts

I JUST LOVE EVERYONES WORK HERE. WE HAVE SO MANY GREAT WOMEN ARTISTS! I AM THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL FOR BEING CHOSEN FOR THIS COLLECTION! I LOVE THE WAY YOU WORKED SO HARD TO PROTRAY THE THEME. WELL DONE. I LOVE ALL THE EMOTION SHOWN IN ALL OF THE WORK, IT IS SO LOVELY TO SEE HOW WE BARE OUR SOULS IN OUR STROKES AND THE SUBJECTS WE CREATE. IT IS NO WONDER IT IS HARD TO LET GO OF A PIECE. I FEEL THEY ARE MY CHILDREN AND EVEN MORE SO WHEN A PIECE OF ART TURNS OUT WELL EVEN IF IT IS JUST OUR OPENION! CONGRADULATIONS EVERYONE! BEAUTIFUL WORK!!!

Lynda Robinson Lynda Robinson 3154 posts

What a wonderful gallery of features you have chosen this week Frannie, and the introduction is absolutely sensational. You have really put your heart and soul into this and created a fanastic discussion with some beautiful examples. I am going to re-read it this evening before offering my views.

F.A. Moore F.A. Moore 37017 posts

That’s interesting, @Mada; and I have really enjoyed your historical series on female artists. Those articles are enlightening.
Thank you for that link.

@Kimberly, the theme of adding our souls, experience, or thought to a work does seem to be a thread throughout this
discussion. We are glad to have one of yours in this group of features. Thank you.

I’m happy to hear from so many, how paintings by women portray human nature— and specifically a woman’s nature—
so well and so sensitively.