Monday, March 16, 2015

TRUE BEAUTY


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"True Beauty"
January 2015
Mixed Media on Canvas
(Acrylic and Oil Paint)
Sizes Vary


I am very excited to release my new body of artwork, which includes 16 portraits of Canadian women, entitled "True Beauty: An Untouched Project". With my First Solo Art Exhibition booked at Ben Navaee Gallery in Toronto, I set out to create a series that would reflect my greatest message; that ALL women are beautiful. Using social media I sent out a call for un-retouched photos of everyday women. "Everyday women" meaning every single woman, whether they be a model or not, as long as their images were not edited. The number of responses I received, which was well over 100, is something I hold dear to my heart. When I began my career as a portrait artist it only made sense that women were not sure about my abilities to capture them and so I often resorted to models and actresses. The fact that so many women now trust in my skills and ability to capture them is a true indicator of how far my career has come and is so very exciting. Choosing at random from those who submitted a photo, my series soon began to take shape. With colour and symbolic iconic imagery I hoped to represent an aspect of each women's multifaceted spirit. In so doing, I wished that anyone viewing the series would not only see each woman as uniquely beautiful but also see the beauty within themselves. 

If you'd like to know my thought process behind each piece please continue viewing this blog. :) 


Detailed Shots of the Entire Series:

See the "True Beauty" Exhibition:

See the Opening Night Reception:

Watch the Opening Night Video:



"True Beauty" by Toronto Portrait Artist Malinda Prudhomme


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'Delena Providence'
30" x 30"

This piece was created to be the focal point of the series and features the beautiful Delena Providence. Delena and I grew up in the same neighbourhood, thus it's no wonder she's been inspiring me with her beauty almost my entire life. When asked what her favourite colour was she answered, "When the sun paints the sky with all her majesty just to say good morning and goodnight, I love it so much". I thought that was really beautiful so I chose to depict this aspect of Delena's character with a bright red background and an iconic image of a sunset/sunrise. 



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'Danielle St Laurent'
24" x 48"

I met the beautiful Danielle St Laurent (A.K.A. Severin Stargher) through the Toronto Art community and, since adding her to Facebook, I have found her to be a daily dose of beauty inspiration and a true friend. To depict an aspect of her character I chose to paint the background turquoise, which is her favourite colour, and include the iconic symbol of crystals, which is something she likes to collect.   



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'Jerica Wentzell'
24" x 36"

Jerica Wentzell has also been inspiring me most of my life. Although she was a year younger than me she attended the same primary and secondary school. She always seemed so true to herself and sported the most stylish outfits. She is now a very talented and artistic hair stylist working in Ottawa. I chose to depict her passion for her profession with intricate hair scissors on a background of her favourite colour, mint. 



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'Vivian Bro'
24" x 24"

The first time I saw Vivian Bro she was applying for a teaching position at a private school I was teaching at. She popped in to check out my classroom and I was floored with how beautiful she was. I knew I would capture her beauty some day and am glad she is a part of this project. Using her favourite colour purple in the background, along with some Palestinian poppies to represent her heritage, I hoped to portray an aspect of her vibrant character. 



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'Katrina Schaman'
18" x 18"

The first time I met the incredibly talented abstract artist Katrina Schaman, I was visiting the Queen West Art Crawl and was so impressed with her work. I decide to follow her work online and eventually got in contact with her. Over the years Katrina has proven to be one of the most helpful and supportive people on my journey. She is an intelligent kindhearted person and I was so honoured to capture her for this series. I was hoping to express an aspect of her personality by using her favourite colour Peach in the background as well as globes to symbolize her love of travel. 



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'Jenny Blackbird'
18" x 24"

I was fortunate to meet Jenny Blackbird and her fiance Mike Ormsby at an outdoor art show that Mike and I were a part of.  After the weekend I added them both to Facebook and have been inspired by their love for their culture ever since. Jenny is a very strong and passionate Plains Cree woman and it was my hope to capture this using a natural yellow background along with a beading pattern similar to that of her culture. 



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'Nici Shipway'
16" x 20"

Nici Shipway contacted me a few years ago through Etsy asking if I'd like to take part in a craft show she was hosting in my neighbourhood. I'm so glad I took part, not only because her shows were great, but because I've gotten to know this inspirational woman and she honestly adds light to my life everyday. She's a passionate Doula and an incredible Mom. There are many aspects of her personality that inspire me but I often think back to a conversation we had about her custom hair fascinators she makes for brides and so I wanted to include her own designs in the background as well as her favourite colour, magenta. 



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'Tia Brazda'
16" x 16"

This artwork features the beautiful Jazz Singer Tia Brazda. I first saw Tia preform at a Swing event at the Gladstone Hotel. Of course, given her incredibly beautiful voice, I was hooked and like a "fan girl" added her to Facebook. I don't know her personally but from the interactions I've had with her she seems to be absolutely lovely! Using a bright blue background and a symbol of an antique microphone I hoped to represent her passion for her career and her natural talent. 



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'Alisha Gauvreau'
16" x 16"

I met Alisha Gauvreau when I was 12 and was visiting my grandmother in my parents' hometown of Markstay, ON. We had some mutual friends in the community and though we hung out rarely, I always admired her. We also attended the same secondary school but weren't really in each others social circles. I've always felt like she was a friend I missed out on. I'm fortunate to have her as a Facebook friend and get to see her really amazing life unfold. From where I'm looking she seems to be at peace and very connected to the earth. She is an Archaeologist who collects artifacts which is why I chose two nautilus' and a green background to symbolize that aspect of her spirit. 

  

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'Doris Cai'
12" x 24"

Doris Cai was my secondary school student a few years ago. I was fortunate enough to teach many courses to this brilliant woman and watch her progress towards University. She was always quiet, kind, and studious; and just a delight to be around. I've always felt Doris was beautiful inside and out so I was thrilled to include her in this series. To balance her favourite colour blue, I chose a bright red background and decided to add a Chinese lucky coin in the background, not only to represent her heritage, but also to express my best wishes for her future. 



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'Trish Lubbe'
11" x 14"

A friend on Facebook had expressed a desire to take part in the project and asked that I look through her photos to see if any would work. While searching I came across Trish Lubbe and was blown away by her natural beauty. Though I do not know her personally I was glad to have pulled her name because her beauty inspires me very much. As I did not know her personally I chose to hint at her South African Cape heritage with a textile inspired pattern. I also included one of her favourite colours green in the background.



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'Natashia Heald'
12" x 12"

I was very happy to pull out Natashia Heald's name when doing the random draw. Though I do not know her personally she has been supporting me on Facebook for quite some time and in that way I have grown very fond of her. Not to mention her mother-in-law commissioned me to do two portraits of her daughter and another of her son. It was a beautiful experience being able to capture their mother in paint too. In order to express an aspect of Natashia's character I choose her favourite colour purple for the background and a symbol of soft opened flowers to show her love for her family. 



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'Dana McCool'
12" x 12"

I met Dana McCool briefly at a group show we were doing at Moniker Gallery. I was fascinated with her work and thought she had such a strong and unique beauty. It is always an honour when a fellow artist allows you to capture them so I was thrilled to capture her and always found this image particularly inspiring. Using one of her two favourite colours green (the other is blue) in the background I hoped to show an aspect of her personality. I also found it very inspiring that she is interested in time travel so I choose to depict this with a swirl of roman numerals. 



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'Sheba Devonish'
9" x 12"

I went out one day to shop down Queen West in Toronto hoping to find a microphone and some comfy foot wear. I walked in and out of Steve's pretty quickly, new mic in hand, and eventually made my way over to "Walking On A Cloud" to find some shoes. I was out of luck with the shoes but instead I met an amazing person, Sheba Devonish. We discussed how I never sing in front of anyone and just do it for fun when I'm alone. She, being the kind gal she is, asked me to hang out and jam with her friends some time. I was smitten! I mean look at that smile! I was very glad to pull Sheba's name and capture her beauty. I chose an image of her announcing her engagement; pure joy showing on her face; and included a guitar in the background to represent her love of singing and playing guitar. 



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'Tasha Rissling'
9" x 12"

Tasha Rissling is my cousin Dan's beautiful wife! Dan and I have some special childhood moments together including a pretend wedding to each other and the time he gave me one of his precious teddy bears. So you can imagine I might feel connected to his wife. I always loved Tasha. She is so kind and down-to-earth and is truly an amazing Mom and Wife. It was such an honour capturing her beauty, especially since she was so excited and supportive throughout the whole process. To depict her kind nature I used her favourite colour pink and hearts. I'm so glad the piece is now hanging in their home where it will be appreciated. I hope it reminds Tasha just how truly beautiful she is. :) 



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'Lisa Boros'
9" x 12"

Though I have never met Lisa Boros in person I still feel I can truly call her a friend. She is a fellow Ontario Portrait Artist yet neither of us feels the need to compete, in fact we like to help each other whenever we can. She's one of the very few people I go to to talk about the negative things in life knowing she will be supportive. Since I've come to know her I've wanted to paint her so it was very exciting for me to include her in this series. To represent an aspect of her spirit I chose blue, her ultimate favourite colour, and cameras (to depict her love of photography) for the background. 




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