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A girl with an owl (pencil sketch) / Djevojka sa sovom (skica olovkom)






 The story of sketch is (kind of) interesting. I'm saying kind of because it may not be of any interest to you, but I'm going to tell the story it anyway. Originally I just drew the owl (for practice and for fun because I love owls), but somehow the drawing looked empty. I fixed that by adding in a woman. I remember watching a documentary on Croatian TV that said that in middle ages, women were the best when it came to hunting with falcons. So, maybe they kept owls, too? It is just a quick drawing really, but I like it. I might make a painting out of it someday. Which makes me think of something....Margaret Atwood. I know I mentioned Margaret Atwood and her novel Cat’s Eye about hundred times on this blog, but I will do it again (and if you really know me it won’t surprise you). The protagonist of this novel is Elaine, a painter who paints women. When one young female journalist assumes (during an interview) that she paints women because she is feminist, Elaine gets defensive.  Why you might ask? Elaine maintains that it has nothing to do with feminist, that painters have always painted women. Indeed, they have. That made me think a lot. This novel has probably, at least on some level, inspired that one very long article about the representation of women that I wrote a while back (here). 

Priča o ovoj skici je donekle zanimljiva. Kažem donekle jer možda vama i neće biti tako zanimljiva, ali ja ću je svejedno ispričati. Zapravo sam u početku nacrtala samo sovu (i za vježbu i za zabavu jer volim sove), ali nekako mi je crtež izgledao prazno. To sam popravila tako da sam dodala ženu. Sjećam se da sam gledala neki dokumentarac na HRT-u gdje su rekli kako su u srednjem vijeku žene bile nabolji sokolari. Možda su imale i sove kao ljubimce? Ovo je zapravo samo brzi crtež olovkom, ali sviđa mi se. Možda jednoga dana od njega napravim i sliku. Što me podsjeća na....Margaret Atwood. Znam da sam spomenula Margaret Atwood prije i njen roman Mačje oko stotinu pita na ovom blogu, ali spomenuti ću ga opet ( i ako me stvarno znate, to vas neće iznenaditi). Protagonist ovoga romana je Elaine, slikarica koja slika žene. Kada  mlada novinarka tijekom razgovora napravi tu pretpostavku da Elaine slika žene jer je feministica, to u njoj probudi obrambeni stav. Zašto mogli biste pitati? Elaine kaže da to nema nikakve veze s feminizmom, da su slikari uvijek slikali žene. Doista, jesu. To me je navelo na razmišljanje. Ovaj roman je barem na nekoj razini  nadahnuo onaj jako dugi članak o prikazivanju žena koji sam napisala prije nekoga vremena (here).

I was browsing through some 16th century art when something struck me….and that was with how much love and tenderness all of the women were depicted. I made me wonder of modern selfies and how we women represent ourselves today. I don’t mean that there is anything wrong with making selfies, you know. It is just that often we turn ourselves into less than we are. We just follow trends and we don’t think, we don’t truly express ourselves- and we forget to be our own creators. Those women that those old masters depicted- they look so full of life. They don’t look like objects to me. So, I don’t think it is a problem that most nudes that exist are nudes of women. It is true that many female artists don't get the recognition they should but generally speaking art not being valued as such is an issue that is even more serious. So, I don't really see a problem in a high number of female nudes in an art museum. The modern feminist will say that it means that women are being objectified, but I don’t believe it. Perhaps the reason why most painters (regardless of their gender) paint women is because they are more inspired by women. Is it really a bad thing to be a source of inspiration? 


Gledala sam neke stare slike iz šestanestoga stoljeća kada sam nešto primijetila...a to je s koliko ljubavi i nježnosti sve ove žene prikazane. Počela sam razmišljati o modernim selfijima i tome kako mi žene danas prikazujemo sebe. Ne mislim da ima išta loše s pravljenjem selfija, znate. Radi se samo o tome da nekad sebe pretvaramo u manje od onoga što jesmo. Samo pratimo trendove i ne mislimo- i zaboravimo biti svoji stvoritelji. Te žene koje su stari majstori slikali izgledale su tako pune života. Meni one ne izgledaju kao objekti. Tako da ne mislim da je problem što je većina aktova ženska. Istina je da postoje i da su postojale brojne ženske umjetnice koje nisu dovoljno priznate, ali generalno govoreći, veći je problem što ljudi uopće ne cijene umjetnost. Tako da mislim da su žalbe na račun visokoga broja ženskih aktova u muzejima bespredmetne (kao npr. ovdje here). Moderne feministice će vam reći da su žene tu pretvorene u objekte, ali ja to ne vjerujem. Možda je razlog zašto većina slikara i slikarica slika žene  taj što ih više nadahnjuju žene. Zar je loša stvar biti nadahnuće?









The reason why Elaine got upset when the journalist mentioned feminism in connection with her art is simply that art is so much more than some social movement- as important as that social movement might have been. Furthermore, that art is hers. She made it. It is timeless. It is beyond politics. It is more powerful, rawer and more important than most activism. For Art is activism in its pure form. Activism freed from ideology and identity. Beauty for the sake of beauty, as Oscar Wilde so wisely said. So, when I look at those old paintings, I don’t see a problem of any sort. The problem is not that most painters paint women, the problem is that some portrayals of women (and many are to be found in ads and media) are demeaning to women. Moreover, if we’re going to be honest- a lot of women are turning themselves into objects. A lot of women are insecure, they feel like they are only worthy if they achieve some ideal of physical beauty. That is what some feminists don't get. Art is not an ad, it is not out there to trick us into thinking we need something to be happy, art is food for our soul. it is never about a celebration of some body ideal. It is always about more, or it is not really art.

Razlog zašto se Elaine uzrujala kada je novinarka spomenula feminizam u vezi s njezinom umjetnošću je jednostavan taj što je umjetnost puno više od socijalnoga pokreta- koliko god važan bio taj socijalni pokret. Uz to, ta umjetnost je njena i ona ju je stvorila. Bezvremenska je, pa je prema tomu iznad politike. Snažnija je, sirovija pa čak i važnija od većine aktivizma. Jer umjetnost je aktivizam u čistom obliku. Aktivizam oslobođen ideologije i identiteta. Ljepota zbog ljepote, kao što je Oscar Wilde tako mudro rekao. Tako da kada ja gledam te stare slike, ne vidim nikakav problem. Problem nije što većina slikara slika žene, problem je što su neki prikazi žena ( a takvim je puno u medijima i oglašavanju danas) ponižavajući prema ženama). Ako ćemo iskreno, puno žena same sebe pretvaraju u objekte. Puno žena je nesigurno, osjećaju da su su vrijedne samo ako ostvare neki ideal fizičke ljepote. To je ono što neke feministice ne shvaćaju. Umjetnost nije oglas, nije njena svrha da nas natjera da mislimo da trebamo nešto da bi bili sretni, umjetnost je hrana da dušu. Nije nikad slavljenje nekoga tjelesnoga ideala. Uvijek se tu radi o više toga, ili to nije umjetnost.








Painters, real painters, show women they are already beautiful for what they are- not for their bodies but for their soul. That is why women inspire painters. Elaine is right. It really doesn’t have anything with being a feminist. It is just the way it is. I’m a woman and most of the time I paint women. If I was a man and painted women, it wouldn’t mean that I’m objectify them (unless my painting were really bad, but I’m talking about artists here so…). It is what painters do, even hobby painters.  You know, I’m really not an expert on visual arts. My true medium are words. Always have been. That is why I love languages so much.I tend to fall in love with words because they are my tool, like paints are tool to an artist. I get lost in dictionaries, I read like my life depends on it. I understand fictional characters. I get literature. So, yes I get why painters paint women. Both as a hobby artist and someone who reads a lot. I get it. I guess I have Margaret Atwood to thank for it. At least partially. So, thanks. I plan to write even more about this subject (you have been warn). Long articles on the way.

Slikari, pravi slikari, prikazuju žene koje su već lijepe- i lijepe zbog onoga što jesu, ne zbog svojih tijela, već zbog svoje duše. Zato žene nadahnjuju slikare. Elaine je u pravu. To nema nikakve veze s feminizmom. To je jednostavno tako. Ja sam žena i većinu vremena slikam žene. Da sam muškarac i da slikam žene, to ne bi značilo da ih pretvaram u objekte (osim ako moje slike ne bi bile doista loše, ali ovdje govorim o umjetnicima tako da...). Slikari slikaju žene. Čak i slikari amateri. Znate, baš i nisam stručnjak što se tiče vizualnih umjetnosti. Moj pravi medij su riječi i tako je uvijek bilo. Zato toliko volim jezike. Zaljubljujem se u riječi jer su one moj alat, kao što su boje alat umjetniku. Izgubim se u rječnicima, čitam kao da mi život ovisi o tome. Razumijem izmišljene likove. Shvaćam književnost. I shvaćam zašto slikari slikaju žene. I kao netko kome je slikanje hobi i kao netko tko puno čita. Shvaćam. Pretpostavljam da mogu i Margaret Atwood zahvaliti na tome, barem djelomično. Tako da hvala Margaret. Planiram još više pisati o ovim temama (smatrajte se upozorenim....dugi dugi članci stižu).


Comments

  1. That's amazing!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase
    http://gilzetbase.com/

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  2. Great pict! Happy weekend!:)

    xxBasia

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  3. Beautiful drawing :)

    http://badassvampire.blogspot.rs/

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  4. Baš je prekrasna slika, slažem se da su nekad malo prenapuhane te feminističke priče, podržavam femniziram i slažem se da su i žene i muškarci jednaki, ali žene će uvijek imati tu neku moć da su muze i muškarcima i drugim ženama u umjetnosti neovisno o svojoj vanjskoj ljepoti :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dearest Ivana,
    I like your drawing - and the story of it. And I also like Birds of prey. Have you ever read the book "H is for Hawk" from Helen Macdonald? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H_is_for_Hawk

    After our Namibia-Holidays we were for thee days in Capetown, and there we saw an owls-nest with two babies. I will show the photos, but this will need some more weeks :-)
    Hugs and happy Sunday,
    Traude
    http://rostrose.blogspot.co.at/2016/12/anl-12-beschenk-dich-selbst-giveaway.html

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  6. Lovely post dear! Have a great weekend! xx

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  7. beautiful sketch! :)
    http://xoxoclaudia.blogspot.de/

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  8. Gorgeous sketch ! How are you beauty ? Kisses :)

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  9. You are right there. Art is a way of celebrating, not 'putting women down' or whatever. Interesting about them being best with falcons. I've passed soooo many Margaaret Attwood books in the charity shop without a glance. Maybe I should revise my choices!
    That sketch is beautiful, even nicer than your paintings!

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  10. sei bravissima, stupendo questo disegno
    www.alessandrastyle.com

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  11. This is such a fun illustration, it made me smile, Ivana. Thx for bringing that smile on to my face. Have a beautiful Sunday, doll.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  12. That's amazing!

    http://angelinavukovic.blogspot.ba/

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  13. Interesting thoughts about the novel. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite writers, "Alias Grace" being my favorite novel.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    Replies
    1. I love her so much, she is such an amazing writer. I haven't read Alias Grace yet.

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  14. Us women can be our own downfall. The rise of social medias have lots to do with it and these days the skimpier the better, the sluttier the better...I miss the elegance and grace of the past.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a part of me is all for being liberal and everyone expressing themselves the way they want, but another part of me misses the elegance of the past too. It would be great if it all that was about about expressing oneself, but I think that often that kind of vulgar self-presentation comes from deep insecurity, so I just can't see it as a good thing, no matter how liberal I want to be about it.

      Delete
  15. Ivana davvero stupendo complimenti
    buona serata, un bacione
    <<< tr3ndygirl fashion blog >>>

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love that this had a story behind it and the detail to which you paid to the owl is lovely.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. I really like what you said about the way women used to be depicted in old art. I studied Art History in college and I definietly noticed that myself as well, but just with paintings of women though - with men, also. So much care and detail was put into those paintings, I guess these days we have photography which has kind of replaced that previous medium. It is a bit of a shame, but I guess that's just how things are in this day and age. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

    Kay
    http://www.shoesandglitter.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, you're right....photography has influenced art and changed it a bit.

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  19. Meni je svakako zanimljivo da pročitam tako nešto :) Sova je preslatka sama po sebi, ali ovako u društvu se nekako još više ističe. Nisam znala za žene sokolare, eto, valjda su feministkinje zadovoljne tim podatkom :D Apsolutno nemam nikakve veze sa slikarskim svetom, ali slažem se da slikarstvo i umetnost uopšte ne moraju 100% da upućuju na nešto konkretno niti da ikoga "prozivaju" ili vređaju... oni jednostavno postoje, a na kraju svako vidi ono što nosi sam unutar sebe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. da, valjda jesu:)
      mislim da je istina da većina ljudi vidi ono što je unutar njih....

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  20. Beautiful!
    xoxo

    www.sorananistor.com

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  21. Nešto malo drugačije nego inače, ali podjednako lepo i inspirativno!

    ReplyDelete

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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