Fallen Women

by - Sunday, December 13, 2015

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Picasso said that and I have to say, although I don't have much respect for the guy as a man, he was a great artist (and an even greater thief as the true father of cubism was George Braque). Art is passion, it's that inexplicable urge to create, to express yourself, to write or paint or sing or whatever it is that you do in order to get those thoughts/feelings out to the world. My creative choice is writing but today we're here not because of me but because of a painter. And a friend. Sarah Lefor.

She has created some of the most beautiful portraits I've seen. Her impressionistic paintings are full of emotion. Whether she is painting on her tablet or doodling on her sketch book, the results are always stunning. It was really hard for me to pick only a selection of paintings from her portfolio, but I chose to showcase her "Fallen Women", a series I'm absolutely in love with, right next to a mini interview she was given me.

Sarah, it's a big pleasure to introduce you to the readers of this blog. I've known you for over two years now and I'm happy to call you a friend, but for all intents and purposes can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

This is the hardest question on the list. I took up art seriously in 2010 when I got my first Wacom tablet and discovered digital painting. I'm completely self taught. I'm a survivor of a long history of various flavours of domestic violence, and painting has given me a way to channel all of the bad and create something good. I'm now a happy housewife, and mother of 2 mischievous children and 2 German shepherd pups.
Who do you look up to in terms of painting and why?

There are SO many... I love old figurative paintings and photography. The sweet spot for me is mid 1800's to the early 1900's. There's a list a mile long of contemporary artists that I admire as well. Daniel Gerhartz, Richard S. Johnson and Pino Daeni, all have gorgeous painting styles very reminiscent of old masters. But I love many different styles of art. The darkly romantic works of Craww never cease to amaze me. Kristin Baugh Shiraef creates works full of whimsey and magic, Lucy Hardie's incredibly detailed pen art always blows my mind. Wendy Ortiz, Annie Stegg, Alyssa Monks, Kari-Lise Alexander, all amazing traditional artists. As for digital painters, Tom Bagshaw, Bastien Lecouffe Deharme and Aunia Kahn are all big inspirations to me for making it in the gallery world. Melanie Delon is always an inspiration for beautiful illustrations. I could go on and on all day about all the amazing artists that are out there.
You use many different mediums to paint, do you have a favourite one and why?

I have to say my favourite medium is digital painting. There is no mess, nothing for the kids to rip up or try to help with, or for the puppies to eat. You never run out of paint, you don't need ventilation, and if you mess up beyond repair, you haven't wasted anything. One day when I have the space I would love the set up for oil painting. But for now my favorites are digital painting and ballpoint pen.

You've tried different styles of painting through the years, is there one you love more than the others and why? Do you have a style in mind that you've been meaning to give it a try?

Honestly it depends on my mood of the day, the phase of the moon, what I had for breakfast. Sometimes I want to be precise, other days I couldn't draw a straight line if I had a ruler and things come out impressionistic and fast. I like to blend worlds together, and I usually don't set out with a solid plan, I just let it come together. I do hope to be coming out with a lot of new work for the new year, it will be a lot of blending old and new.

Lastly, where do you get your inspiration from? Was there something in particular that sparked the idea of the Fallen Women series?

Nature, history, loss, personal mythologies. In my paintings, a bird is never just a bird, and sometimes a flower is a flower, and sometimes it is a story. I find a lot of aesthetic inspiration in the afore mentioned late 1800's to early 1900's photographs. They have a quality to them that is so very rare in modern photos. My Fallen Women series is inspired by these and a fascination with wild west prostitutes that was inherited from my aunt. In a time where women were very oppressed they gained monumental power and fortune with nothing more than what they were born with and an iron will. Often times they would build hospitals, schools, fund law enforcement, bring civilization itself to areas with their fortunes when women weren't even supposed to own property, that's pretty inspiring!

If you're interested in Sarah's work and would like to see more of her creations, go like her Facebook page, she likes to post her doodles as well as works in progress there, plus you can always contact her and ask for a commission. I have commissioned her many a times in the past, mainly for fantasy character portraits (a project I've been working on) and she was kind enough not only to gift me with some of her beautiful art but also draw a mini portrait of me (which to this day I'm absolutely in love with)!

I know Sarah won't be taking any commissions for the holiday season as she's been kept busy by her lovely children and puppies, but do keep your eyes open because she has promised to surprise us with the coming of the New Year. And if you do decide to order a commission keep in mind that she hails from the States, so be prepared for a higher postage fee. 

Until next time,


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