Looking at yourself – Inspiring Art for Writers

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

nude with a difference

I hadn’t heard of Joan Semmel before I came across this painting and I can’t help feeling that is a failing on my part. Wikipedia tells me she is an American feminist painter, professor, and writer, best known for painting large scale, realistic nudes of her own body as seen from her perspective looking down.

I was blown away by this very different way of seeing the female body and I hope you are too. (Although I don’t think she is actually naked, there are bikini bottoms hiding within the soft folds.) I love the structure of the painting. We are close up and personal, almost able to hear the artist/model breath, but while we are captured by the shadows and contours of flesh we never lose sight of the woman’s life literally playing in front of her…

What can we get from this as writers – does it help…

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