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I guess this is what we’re supposed to our stuff. Amirite? So, because I like to tell a bit BEFORE I show, here’s the babble bit.

Generally..........I work in a series of three and these days, I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. When I end up inside a rabbit hole, I know something has gotten my attention. Maybe this idea started (but not remembering anymore) when I was looking at Frida Kahlo, and then onto medical corsets, and then onto “regular” corsets. As a feminist, they (the idea of them) confuse me. Are they liberating or objectifying? Girly frillyness or practical contraption? Should they be hidden or revealed? Are they designed for a woman or, for the menz? I didn’t want to highlight the body of a female as she looks inside one (that’s SOOO 1990’s male gazey) but rather, on the corset itself. It’s like an objectification of an object of objectification? They’re all 30 x 40, from 2016.

This was a (sexy, IMO) steampunk corset but what struck me was that it also reminded me of horses and hides and being roped and tied. Ahem. See the little needles poking through the heart? RAWHIDE


No doubt, some have a clown-like, silly, burlesque(ness) to them, so why not mock one by placing it against the backdrop of a fat kid circus poster? The surface behind the corset was sanded back and rubbed over with yellow ochre. BIG TOP


The last was inspired by “reptilian printed fabric” on an Alexander McQueen dress. It was shimmery and other worldly and so I stole it and recreated it as underwater-underwear skin. No, goldfish don't live in the ocean and yes, her skin has a zipper. SHE SHELL

OMG! These are incredible! What is the media and what did you paint them on? I can see a clear Japanese influence, especially in the last one, of course. I love the transparency you've captures. How'd ya do dat?

You ask a lot of questions with your work. All so complex and persuasive, not with what you wrote, but with the paintings themselves. As far as what you wrote, I think a lot of stuff, like the point of your question on them being liberating or objectifying. As one feminist to another, and we are all very different in our views here (which make us great that way), my feeling is that it's a dual edged sword. It is both. Both in terms of power and control. We can not control objectification. You can create anything: a painting, how you adorn your body, walking down the street, and have a deep intention to be or feel liberated as a human being. We can not control the view of others that objectify us, and for that, it is about power and control. This is the struggle of the whole feminist movement, IMO. This is the frustration. This is what keeps us on the losing end despite how empowered we can often feel. The question remains is how empowered are we really? When we are still not in power or not viewed as a powerful force and often objectified as less than, or looked at as just a physical thing (before we are seen for our abilities), how do we step into this world as a power, or as powerful as men. Maybe sometimes more powerful? Some men are more powerful than others. Don't we have that right as well? Some of us have had incredible breakthroughs and have surpassed men, but why are they so "incredible?" These things can feel infuriating, right? In any case, I am rambling, but whether liberating or objectifying, it is both and we are both. The world sees us as both. Everything "depends." Unfortunately, most things depend on men's views and not ours. That is what I mean by power and control.

There, I said it.
Wow, these are amazing. Weird and wonderful. The first seems like steam punk. The last one is intricate and fascinating with wonderful detail. As to corsets, I think of them as a way to make women look more shapely, to please men. But you'd think that a woman wearing a corset wouldn't feel very good to a man's touch, so it makes you wonder who came up with the idea. It could have been just another crazy idea from the world of fashion. Anyway, great paintings!
I think perfection = anal.

Which is why I wish I had more Henry Taylor in me.

But oh well, I am what I am. I don’t think I could change my painting style even if somebody pointed a gun to my head and yelled, “Loosen up NOW!” I think that’s because I like the PROCESS of just sitting there and “crafting” a painting over a slow period of time. It’s very meditative. A quick and loose painting style wouldn’t be as much FUN for me to do, but who knows....maybe I’d like the final result more in the end.

And thank you...
I would say that corsets are definitely for the benefit of men.

A lot of us go for fantasy girls with hourglass figures, wasp waists. The only benefit I can see for women is if they aren't built that way but want to look like they are. Of course, many men also dig corsets because they think corsets are sexy. A bit of B&D fantasizing going on with that, I think.

As usual I find your work completely baffling technically, Olive. I have no idea how you do this stuff.
I like the last painting a lot, the corset gets lost and just becomes this beautiful structure embedded with the other elements. It's also just really pretty! I have a friend who's really into corsets (period costuming in general) and a big feminist to boot, and I think she'd really like these paintings.
I am always trying to loosen up too. I know it might seem like I'm not anal, but I am. Like, why do I outline stuff? I want to stop doing that. I like my stuff better when I don't make perfect big black outlines. They take forever, but something in me is compelled to do them anyway. It is meditative and takes my mind off my problems, so I keep doing it. I just want to leave a more looser line and not make it so solid. It's hard for me to just leave it be. I've succeeded in doing this very rarely.
Thank you S&I (my boy friends) and thank you Xie (and hello!)

I LOVE outlining things and don’t think I’d want to give THAT part up but why can’t I “mess” the paint up a bit? One way I try to get over that is to sometimes ADD texturey things to the surface like crackle, or burlap, or pennies, or ripping and sewing, etc.

But then...weirdly...I’ll paint all smooth and tidy on top of THAT. Geesh.

I’m pretty much of a “go with the flow” type and not a control freak so you’d think my painting would “match” my insides better. Oh well. Guess we all have our “struggles, neuroses, limitations, insecurities, whatevers” about our own work.

Thought interesting discussion and the paintings are, of course, fantastic. My favorite is the circus one 🙂. But mostly, you made me think and I like that.