Women Artist Crushes: Week 2

Continuing my series in February, this post highlights seven women artists who have really made an impact in my life, one way or another. I hope they bring you the same level of inspiration!

You can follow my Pinterest Board about them HERE. Or click on any link below to learn more.

Feb. 8th: Maya Angelou

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” This quote gets me through my thickest of creative blocks, and encourages me to keep making. Angelou’s work is always so powerful and her voice stands out amongst all others.

Feb. 9th: Jane Davenport

A few years ago, when I started injecting daily creative practice into my routine, I gave myself various assignments. One was “draw 100 faces.” I finished it quickly, with little sketches and doodles, and had so much fun, I wanted to further my study on portraiture. I came across Jane Davenport’s “Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces: A Mixed-Media Portrait Workshop” and learned so much in such a short time. She’s briliant. And now she has an entire line of art supplies, including my go-to set of Jane Davenport Mixed Media Petite Palette Neutrals” watercolors.

Feb. 10th: Dolly Parton

My daughter is 6 years old, and I’m trying to raise her right. And by raise her right, I mean, we listen to a lot of Dolly Parton, and watch 9 to 5 on repeat. Dolly is one of those triple-threat multi-hyphenates, and I get goosebumps every time I see her Imagination Library program, where she gives free books to rural and at-risk kids.

Feb. 11th: Crystal Moody

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Crystal is a prolific artist with such a strong and powerful vision of her work. When I see a piece by her, I know immediately who made it, yet all of her projects are vastly different. A couple years ago I signed up for her mentorship program, A Year of Creative Habits, and in ONE conversation, I set goals and habits that have completely altered my path for the better. I am always grateful for her wisdom and encouragement, and have started collecting her work whenever I have a few extra dollars.

Feb. 12th: Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois has always fascinated me, and when I saw her larger-than-life sculpture “Maman” in real life at Crystal Bridges, I swooned. It wasn’t until I read “Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois” with my daughter that I really “got” Louise’s work, which can be dark, twisted, raw, and emotional. The more I learned about her, the more I wish I could have been an apprentice, or a friend, or neighbor.

BOURGEOIS MAMAN SCULPTURE

Feb. 13th: Miranda July

In 2005, my husband and I started an independent, art-house cinema, and choosing our first film to show to a Southwest-Missouri, mostly conservative audience, was a challenge. We decided with the quirky and truly artsy “Me and You and Everyone We Know” by auteur Miranda July.

It was perfect. People walked out either with stars in their eyes, or shaking their head. Miranda’s artistic vision was unlike anything shown in our city before, and since then I’ve followed her more closely and gobbled up her books and projects. I feel like she truly paved the way for many Springfieldians, showing that “art house” isn’t as crazy as someone might think. But still kind of crazy.

Feb. 14th: Margaret Atwood

You didn’t think I’d go through this list without mentioning Margaret Atwood, now, did you?

 

When I first read “The Handmaid’s Tale,” my life changed. It’s true. It’s a specific turning point in my cultural and political views. I had always considered myself a feminist, with a natural craving toward equality and distrust toward things like “beauty standards” and “glass ceilings.” But after reading Atwood’s work, which is thrilling AND thought-provoking, a new feeling of anger entered my system. And it hasn’t left. I am so happy, that decades later, her work is just as timely as ever, and is finding new ground and new audiences. If you haven’t read her yet, what are you waiting for!?

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Thanks for reading! I’ll bring you a handful of other amazing women next week.

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