Not only was Theoclea a Delphic Priestess, but she was also a scientist and philosopher. Pythagoras learned all about the natural sciences and moral doctrines from Theoclea, his sister. She is also known as Aristoclea.
We all heard about the Pythagorean theorem in geometry class…but we never heard about the amazing woman who schooled him!
Painted in my signature Cubism 3.0 style that blends Analytic and Synthetic Cubism with Feminism and Pop, the Alchemical Bride series celebrates extraordinary women from human history. Stretched and wired, ready to hang. Signed in the back.
There’s an inspiring teacher, philosopher, or mathematician who needs this painting in her life! What a beautiful gift for her. You can get this beautiful piece for yourself or as a gift, on Saatchi: https://bit.ly/38ayxUv
I love this piece so much! For some reason, this is the one painting in the series that I danced with the most, weeks on end. I kept doing the easel to mirror hustle, back and forth, changing this then that, until I got it just right! She’s up in my Saatchi portfolio ready to go from my studio to your wall! Click the link below to make this bride and her inspiring story yours.
Agnodice is the first historical midwife of Athens. She had to practice medicine disguised as a man and was so good she took business away from other doctors. I guess way back then, just like now, some women prefer a female doctor…like I do!
When her true gender was discovered, Agnodice was taken to court. Her rivals wanted her in prison which was even more serious then than now, but Agnodice’s trial divided the city. Women protested and refused to go to the men doctors. Mayhem ensued. Anyways, she was released!
Painted in my signature Cubism 3.0 style that blends Analytic and Synthetic Cubism with Feminism and Pop.
I am an award-winning artist with pieces in museums, but my paintings are affordable art. Perfect gift for her, for the new homeowner or new collector. Of course, the best gifts for the bride are celebratory paintings!
If you love classical art, if you love European easel painting, this series is for you.
Please share this post with any hard-working woman in the medical profession. She will like to know about Agnodice, how she rose above the restrictions of her age to become the most celebrated midwife (obstetrician?) of the 4th c BCE.
Seasoned painters know that it pays to have a plan, an organizing principle to guide creative decisions at the easel.
Even stream of consciousness artists start off with an idea or feeling in mind. And a conceptually driven artist, even one like me who is working from Fluxus boxes set up in the studio, has to have an idea on how to build an image from the ground up.
Here’s how I got from the box still-life to my finished painting, Alchemical Bride 24 (Sojourner Truth).
Firstly, I reversed the bride, so the small figure was in front and the large portrait in back. The picture still bent in half, but now I had an all-seeing eye looking at me. Cool!. After a number of sketches, I zeroed in on the green reflections from the plants in my studio as a color prompt.
With green as my anchor color, I picked out a quadratic color scheme to complement the hues I saw in the box, and nudged others to fit my chromatic key.
I believe in organizing principles to guide my brush. But I don’t think artists need to become goose-stepping fascists, mindlessly following some art historical rule. That kind of rigidity is for theorists, not for those who actually practice. The easel is where the rubber meets the road, and any painter worth her salt won’t give up what will best serve her painting because of a rule!
Take the Rule of Thirds, a universally appealing way to distribute focal points in a painting, for example. To find my true thirds, I diagonally divide my painting in half in opposite directions. I then divide each leg in half, to find the “eyes” of my thirds. In my composition, the “eyes” are marked in red.
I wanted to create a strong movement from the bride’s vigilant and actively staring eye, to her hands, folded and waiting for action. A narrative suggested itself in these two gestures as I thought about the historical figure of Sojourner Truth. So I stressed the top right and lower right “eyes” softening the other two with shapes, moving with the rhythms of a Fibonacci spiral.
Now look here, I free-handed my Fibonacci spiral, so it’s not a mathematically correct spiral. No doubt, there’s a theorist out there clucking tsk-tsk with disapproval. Know what I say to that? Jimmy-crack corn and I don’t care! My painting is alive and bristling with color, textures, values, and implied narratives. And it moves with the rhythms of the spiral despite the organic imperfections of my hand.
I use chromatic keys and compositional devices as organizing principles like an artist, not like a fascist. Discerning mathematicians and art critics need not freak out.
Carl Jung interpreted the process of alchemy to that of individuation towards the Self, and the Alchemical Bride series takes a look at this alchemy through a feminist lens.
Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s just the transition from teaching to time off, I haven’t much felt like painting in oils. Instead, I have been really enjoying the immediacy of making marks. To me that inevitably leads to drawing and printmaking.
Drawing with a brush, like in the three pieces above is a nice bridge between the layering of marks and medium that oil painting entails. This is different from engraving, where I take a sharp burin and gouge out the lines that will hold ink.
The speed of the mark as well as how hard I press determines the darkness and character of the mark.
Other factors that impact the resulting image include the color of ink and the paper used. For example, Alchemical Bride engraving 1 is printed in Lampblack on a rice paper that while very strong, appears fragile due to its thinness and translucency. By contrast, the bright red ink on the warm white paper of ALchemical Bride engraving 2 lends a sense of heat and pressure to the image.
In Alchemical Bride engraving 3, I mixed my own red and decided to push the heat of the image further by printing on a yellow/tan paper. I wanted the weight and temperature of the inks and paper to increase the squeezing effect on the smiling bride created by the dark marks of the hair above left and the refractions below right. Squeeze!
In this last image, I mixed red and green inks to create a chromatic neutral grey that left a plate tone in each chroma. This way you feel the green and red but don’t really see them creating a tension that alludes to the chemical processes in alchemy.