Category Archives: Women/Men/Abuse

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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Heartstrings by Patrushka

“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”
– Audrey Hepburn –

Title: “Heartstrings”

Size: 10″ x 10″

Medium: Graphite on paper

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

Follow On Instagram: @patrushka_art


Just Deserts For O.J. Simpson

For Nicole, Just Deserts - Patrushka

O.J. Simpson murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and this is a vengeful fantasy completed in memory of her. O.J. was never convicted or punished for the crime – due to massive corruption and ineptitude on the part of the LA prosecutors and police. Not to mention the high-profile lawyers that O.J. could afford to hire and the fact that the whole trial was twisted into a “race” issue.

In my artwork, Nicole gets a little bit of justice and uses O.J. as the dartboard, turning the tables on her reality as a battered (and finally murdered) wife. Hence, O.J. finally gets his just deserts…  Based on the mug shot taken by the Los Angeles police, 1994.

This is another piece for my “Hunters and Hunted” series – depicting the emotional trauma of sexual assault and domestic violence, the victims and the perpetrators. The “Hunters” are all black and white scratchboard, while the “Hunted” are painted in color, usually gouache or oil on wood.

Title: “For Nicole, Just Deserts”

Size: 8″ x 10″

Medium: Clayboard, scratchboard

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

Follow On Instagram: @patrushka_art

These Roots I Grew


TheseRootsIGrewForYou by Patrushka 10




 Title:  These Roots I Grew For You

 Inspired by the sacrifices we make for someone we love and the sadness when they are rejected. Also inspired by our environment and the destruction we visit upon Mother Nature.

 Size:  11″ x 14″

  Medium:  Gouache on wood panel, varnished


“I remember what you told me before you went out on your own

“Sometimes to keep it together, we got to leave it alone.”

So you can get on with your search, baby, and I can get on with mine

And maybe someday we will find , that it wasn’t really wasted time”

– The Eagles

TheseRootsIGrewForYou framed web-Patrushka


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


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Spread The Word: Women Paint The Town This Weekend!

This weekend a great cause, conference and huge art exhibition opens at the beautiful Steinbeck Center, via Women’s Caucus For The Arts.

“Honoring Women’s Rights Conference and Art Exhibition”

Opening Reception on Friday Sept. 7th, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

 There will be a welcome party, jewelry expo, music and free events. Start your Xmas shopping early and support women artists at the same time!

The art exhibition has a special Artists Reception on Saturday night as well, from 6 – 9 pm.

The exhibition will be on display through January 6th, 2013

For Speakers, Info and Tickets to the conference, click here.

For general info, click here.

Two of my “Hunted” pieces from my series focusing on the abuse of women, are in the art show – “Black & Blue” and  “Out The Door”

Make a weekend getaway to Monterey or Carmel out of it – hope to see you there!

Cary Got Out His Cane

“Cary”, A Hunter

Medium: Scratchboard,  Size: 7″ x 9″ (framed)

Cary “Scott” Alexander, charged with raping and sodomizing a nine year-old girl.
According to court records, the girl showed physical signs of abuse when she went to authorities in late July. She says the first time Alexander allegedly sexually abused her she was 7 or 8, and “it happened a lot.”

Brett, A Hunter

“Brett”, A Hunter

Medium: Scratchboard,  Size: 7″ x 9″ (framed)

Rapist – Brett Alan Lengstorf.

Six weeks after the rape, he was arrested in Santa Cruz County for possession of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia.

The plaintiffs had contracted with Narconon to provide in-patient treatment for the wife. When the wife arrived, she was put into detoxification at what was called the “withdrawal cabin” which was some distance from the main facility. While the plaintiff was sleeping, Lengstorf who was a former student and recent graduate of the program entered the cabin, insisted on giving her a “touch assist”, and, after a chase that took place outdoors, ultimately raped her. (LINK)