Katherine Strause

I believe that women are in charge. I see women taking control in subversive, rebellious, and playful ways. My paintings contain the spirit of that rebellion. The figures are on a mission of change; they lack inhibitions, are confident in their opinions, and have hope in the future. They are in charge of their space, their bodies, their feelings, and their actions. They will not sit down or be quiet. 

The works are based on found photographs of women transformed into paintings of subjects who are experiencing a moment of clarity and complete independence. I look for a quality of liberty in the attitude of the sitter. I want the image to give us insight into the path women take.  

The paintings have magical appeal: the subject matter and visual techniques are inspired by artists such as Carroll Cloar, Pierre Bonnard and Alice Neel. Layering saturated color with brushstrokes has increased the vibration and visual play of the work. This focus on the expressive application of paint and extravagant use of color transforms the black and white snapshots into dynamic, energetic paintings.  

Using old photos of unknown sitters give us a link to a wider past, more universal. It’s the shared past that I am interested in; these figures represent us all in overcoming struggle. This work addresses the idea of transcendence, hope, and transformation. They demonstrate courage and strength. They are 

about women, now and then, who are breaking free and energetically strutting their way past any limitations.

Artemis

Oil on Canvas
48″ x 36″

New Guitar

Oil on Canvas
36″ x 24″

Protest is Patriotic

Oil on Canvas
24″ x 18″

Pyramid Shoulder Stand

Oil on Canvas
36″ x 24″