Category Archives: Ladies of the Newbrow

Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar

The Belljar Sylvia Plath - by Patrushka 8

A Portrait of Sylvia Plath in her Bell Jar

This is an homage to Sylvia Plath, her poetry, her life and her novel – The Bell Jar.

The following excerpts from SparkNotes, expound nicely on the tale and the symbolism:

“It tells the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, but it does not follow the usual trajectory of adolescent development into adulthood. Instead of undergoing a progressive education in the ways of the world, culminating in an entrance into adulthood, Esther regresses into madness. Experiences intended to be life-changing in a positive sense—Esther’s first time in New York City, her first marriage proposal, her success in college—are upsetting and disorienting to her. Instead of finding new meaning in living, Esther wants to die. As she slowly recovers from her suicide attempt, she aspires simply to survive.

Esther observes a gap between what society says she should experience and what she does experience, and this gap intensifies her madness. Society expects women of Esther’s age and station to act cheerful, flexible, and confident, and Esther feels she must repress her natural gloom, cynicism, and dark humor. She feels she cannot discuss or think about the dark spots in life that plague her: personal failure, suffering, and death. She knows the world of fashion she inhabits in New York should make her feel glamorous and happy, but she finds it filled with poison, drunkenness, and violence. Her relationships with men are supposed to be romantic and meaningful, but they are marked by misunderstanding, distrust, and brutality. Esther almost continuously feels that her reactions are wrong, or that she is the only one to view the world as she does, and eventually she begins to feel a sense of unreality. This sense of unreality grows until it becomes unbearable, and attempted suicide and madness follow.”

The bell jar is an inverted glass jar, generally used to display an object of scientific curiosity, contain a certain kind of gas, or maintain a vacuum. For Esther, the bell jar symbolizes madness.  The beating heart symbolizes this bodily desire for life. When she tries to drown herself, her heart beats, “I am I am I am.” The tulip/eyes are inspired by her poem “Tulips”, here.

Title: “The Bell Jar”

Size: 9″ x 12″

Medium: Clayboard or scratchboard

The Belljar Sylvia Plath - by Patrushka detail

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Frida Kahlo As A Geisha

Frida Geisha by Patrushka

A Frida Kahlo as a geisha,  adorned and embellished with the botanical trappings she so loved. The character on her forehead reads “flower” and thorny curvy entanglements hang from her ears. A beautiful aloe plant spikes up in the foreground.

“I paint flowers so they will not die…”

– Frida Kahlo –

Many of Kahlo’s iconic self-portraits include imagery of foliage and flowers from her garden. In addition to her traditional Mexican clothing and jewelry made from shells, stones or bones, as well as her pet birds and monkeys, she frequently incorporated plants like “elephant-ear” leaves from the aroid (Araceae) family and white-haired “old-man cactus” (viejo), or other cacti and an assortment of flowers.

This is for my ongoing Geisha series, based on the premise – that the most literal translation of geisha into English would be “artist,” “performing artist,” or “artisan.”

Title: “Frida Geisha”

Size: 16 x 20″

Medium: Oil on wood

Frida Geisha Detail by Patrushka

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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For Celia Cruz: On The Day of the Dead

Ode To Celia - Patrushka-11

A  Day Of The Dead tribute to the incredible Celia Cruz, well-known as the queen of salsa. She was a Cuban salsa singer and performer. One of the most popular salsa artists of the 20th century, she earned twenty-three gold albums and was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

She is decked out in full regalia with a classic Day Of The Dead headdress. The Day of the Dead is a festive holiday celebrated in Mexico and other parts of the world during November 1 & 2. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

Ode To Celia detail - Patrushka

Title: “Ode To Celia”

Size: 16″ x 20″

Medium: Gouache/watercolor on wood, varnished

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Lady Patricia, A Portrait of Patti Smith

Lady Patricia (Patti Smith) - Patrushka

 

“Armageddon, it’s gotten
No savior jailer can take it from me
World ending, it’s just beginning
And rock and roll is what I’m born to be
And it’s wild wild wild wild … “

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Title: Lady Patricia Lee Smith

A Patti Smith portrait – the wonderful poet, punk, and priestess of rock and roll.

Size: 12″ x 15″

Medium: Oil on wood

 

Patti Smith portrait- detail-Patrushka

Lady Patricia- Pattti Smith - framed 12 by Patrushka

 

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Lady Agatha

Lady Agatha - Patrushka

Meet Agatha (played by Saoirse Ronan) from the film – The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I loved her character in the movie and all the directorial works of Wes Anderson.

I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she’s exceedingly lovely.  – Quote from the film, by M. Gustave

Title: Lady Agatha

Size: 16 x 20″

Medium: Gouache on wood panel, varnished

agatha detail - patrushka web600

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Lady Evelyn

Lady Evelyn - Patrushka

A watercolor study based on Evelyn Nesbit, a popular American chorus girl and artists’ model.

In the early part of the 20th century, the figure and face of Evelyn Nesbit was everywhere, appearing in mass circulation newspaper and magazine advertisements, on souvenir items and calendars, making her a cultural celebrity.  She attracted the attention of the then 47-year-old architect and New York socialite Stanford White, who became her lover and dedicated benefactor. Nesbit achieved world-wide notoriety when her jealous husband, multi-millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, shot and murdered Stanford White on the rooftop theatre of Madison Square Garden on the evening of June 25, 1906, leading to what the press would call “The Trial of the Century”.

Title: Lady Evelyn

Size: 12″ x 16″

Medium: Watercolor on Arches paper

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Lady Simone

LadySimone-Patrushka-Web10

A portrait inspired by a woman named Simone, her beauty, her favorite flower – a peony, and her favorite color – mint green. Embellished with vintage design, fashion and the Day of the Dead. And as usual the wood grain playing within the flesh…

Title: Lady Simone

Size: 12″ x 16″

Medium: Gouache on wood panel, varnished

LadySimoneDetail-Patrushka-Web10

(Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons

Khaleesi -PatrushkaWEB

Title: Khaleesi

Inspired by Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen from The Game of Thrones.

Also known as:  the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

 Size: 27″ x 31″ (framed)

  Medium: Oil on wood

Khaleesi -Patrushka -framed web14

Khaleesi - Patrushka-DETAIL

(Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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The Day Of The Lily

The Day Of The Lily - PatrushkaWEB

  

 Title:  The Day of the Lily, a Day of the Dead inspired work

 Size:  11″ x 14″

  Medium:  Gouache On Wood (varnished)

  ( Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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Harajuku Geisha

Harajuku Geisha by Patrushka-framed-600web

  

 Title:  Harajuku Geisha

( or the old meets the new…) Loosely based on Bjork as a muse.

 Size:  20″ x 24″

  Medium:  Oil On Wood

Old Meets New by Patrushka-detailweb

 

  (Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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The Geisha of Twin Peaks

Geisha of the Twin Peaks-Patrushka10  
Title: The Geisha of Twin Peaks
Inspired by the character of Josie Packard, played by Joan Chen, on the Twin Peaks TV show, directed by David Lynch.
  
Size: 9.5″ x 14″
  
Medium: Gouache on a log slice, varnished.
  

Geisha – The word consists of two kanji, 芸 (gei) meaning “art” and 者 (sha) meaning “person” or “doer”. The most literal translation of geisha into English would be “artist,” “performing artist,” or “artisan.”
(All works are for sale, and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

  
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The Day of the Lana

DayOfTheLana -Patrushka8

Title: The Day of the Lana

Size: 14″ x 19″ (framed)

Medium: Gouache on paper, varnished

Since I so often post art as soon as I photograph it, it often isn’t seen with the frame. So I thought I’d post Day of the Lana complete in her vintage frame, below.

She is all ready for a Halloween exhibit (along with 4 other pieces of mine), at ACCI Gallery, in Berkeley.

Hallowed and Haunted opens on October 11th, with a reception and costume party/contest at 6 pm.  The show will be on view through Nov. 10th, 2013.

Hope to see you there!

ACCI Gallery, 1652 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA

Link: ACCI Gallery

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Camille Caged

 

Title: Camille Caged

Medium: Mixed media on wood

This piece was used on the exhibition card for my current solo show, you may see the info here – SR2 Gallery Link.

She is a portrait of Camille Claudel , a French sculptor, graphic artist and model/mistress of Auguste Rodin. She was wrongly committed to an insane asylum for 30 years and died there.

Now Showing: The Log Lady •

Title: The Lady of the Log

Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, is a character in the television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991), created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. The character makes semi-regular appearances in both seasons, and is played by Catherine E. Coulson.

Medium: Gouache on wood slice

Size: 8” x 10.5”, oval

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Saint Laura

Title: Saint Laura, of the Order of the Twin Peaks

(Laura Palmer)

Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The series follows the investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper of the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer. She was found dead, wrapped in plastic.

Medium: Oil on wood

Size: 20″ x 19″

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