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November 11, 2015

Beauty in the Unfinished

There’s something appealing about seeing the skeleton of a drawing, the bare bones version before it has been perfected. It looks like Marjolein Caljouw knows this, because she often takes photographs of her works in process and shows them side-by-side with the completed illustration. With pencil, ink, and paint, she depicts the female body in all its mystery and sensuality. The soft, organic features are charged with human intimacy that is easily palpable even in the rough sketches.

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June 18, 2015

Amliv Sotomayor: Women with Eyes Closed

Amliv is living and working among us here in Miami. The Cuban artist (who, according to her bio "eats her rice and beans regularly") creates delicate and ethereal imagery - it's hard to place the images within a city so much the opposite. Not only do I admire Amliv for her skill with graphite, but the imaginative nature of her images is also to be revered. As someone who at times relies heavily on source photographs, I'm in awe of the emotion and precision portrayed in these fantastical scenes.

I see Amliv's images and wonder about the story behind the characters and their interactions. What relationship does the artist see between these women and beasts? Almost all of Amliv's drawings of women show them with their eyes closed. I feel as if these women are completely engulfed in their personal experience, whether it be transformation, grandeur, dream, or sleep. It’s a beautiful and strange effect, and it is executed with such grace.

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May 19, 2015

Javier Ordaz: Women in Black

Javier's Instagram and website are filled with black & white sumi ink illustrations painted with a thick brush. The bold strokes and deepness of the black makes the images feel as if the ink is still wet on the page. Many of his images have a dark, slightly sinister feel to them, but a series of portraits caught my eye. Javier has painted a series of women in loving detail while still maintaining his gestural, loose style. The series makes me wonder who these women are, and what part they played in Javier's life.

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February 16, 2014

When Women Laugh

Inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s Shipboard Girl, Danor Shtruzman captures laughing women in watercolor. His work shares the same cliched femininity and comic book sensibility as the pop art icon, but his use of greyscale on aged book pages adds a texture and meaning all his own. His Laughing Girl series is an unabashed tribute to happiness in a sometimes lonely world. Smile and the world smiles with you.

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January 25, 2013

The Reconstructionists

I stare at the flashing cursor, tongue-tied and stupefied-- outwitted by the subject. How to write about a project which is at once worthy and fundamental, and arrestingly, profoundly beautiful? The Reconstructionists features a different trailblazing woman every Monday who has "reconstructed ... our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our place in it." It's a hefty feat, but if anyone could pull it off it's surely the talented team of illustrator Lisa Congdon and writer Maria Popova.

The project begins with a cartoonist, the original soul sister, a timeless diarist, an inventor/actress, an author/art collector, and an abstract-expressionist painter -- iconic and provocative women who played, performed, and permeated meaning, better known as Lynda Barry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Anais Nin, Hedy Lamarr, Gertrude Stein, and Agnes Martin, respectively.

The illustrated portraits, hand-lettered quotes, and accompanying micro-essays are as vibrant and compelling as the women they honor. Hats off ladies.

November 29, 2012


You can't discuss Diela Maharanie's art without praising her prismatic, high-gloss, candy-like use of color. But, it's the colored noses of her women - a mere dab on the face - that somehow command my attention even amidst a wild assortment of patterns and animals. It's as if their skin has saturated the vibrant world they inhabit.

You now have the chance to color her work yourself - Diela is one of the 60 artists featured in our new coloring book!

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April 26, 2012

In A Most Peculiar Way

Come with me and take a peek at the wonderful sketchbook of María Inés Gul, aka Marjainez. It's a mix of scribbles, paint blots and mid-sentence thoughts.

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