I have just finished work on a personal piece depicting Ygritte, an extremely strong female presence in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series written by George R. R. Martin. I haven't painted a portrait in a long time, and since my schedule had freed up a bit, I thought this was also a perfect opportunity to do this character piece.
Recently, I have gotten told by many people that I should paint a pin-up type painting to sell at conventions. Pin-ups always sell well at conventions, and it seems like a no brainer to just suck it up and paint one. But that's not what I do. I totally understand that there is a place for pin-ups in this society and I don't want to come down on artists that do them. If done right, they can be empowering works of art. They depict women, usually that have curves, kicking ass. I love paintings or movies or tv shows of women kicking ass, but I have never had the urge to paint the stereotypical pin-up painting. I paint paintings that have a quieter attitude to them. Also, I know that I wouldn't do the pin-up genre any justice by tackling that type of composition.
I do, however, feel the need to depict strong women in art! My wife is currently pregnant with our first baby, a girl. I feel it is my duty as a father to surround my future daughter with empowering role models, aside from all the terribly strong women that make up our family. Ygritte, personifies strength. She lives in a harsh environment, doesn't rely on men to feed her or fight her battles, and men see her as an asset not a weaker sex. She also doesn't let her strength get in the way of her sexuality. I commend Mr. Martin for making such rich characters with so many nuances, there is a reason so many people love Ygritte, and I hope I composed a painting that depicts her as the strong woman she embodies.
So, in conclusion, this is my version of a pin-up. It might not entice the dude at the convention who wants to buy a print of a hot girl spilling out of her outfit, but I hope it empowers the girl who want to be more than that, to have an icon in which to aspire.
|Kissed By Fire, 24"x14", oil on paper on masonite, 2015.|