Who IS that Woman? -- FAQ #1
"Cyclical," by Lea K. Tawd, 2018. 24 x 18" mixed media on wood.
"Who is the woman in your paintings--is it you?" I am asked this question, or some version of it, more often than anything else. The short answer is that it is a reflection of a part of me that I hope you can also see in yourself.
When I first began this series, she definitely was me in a more direct way. I was close to 30 and going through a huge period of growth in my life. I was, for the first time in my life, feeling good about myself, feeling strong and beautiful and graceful. I painted with the intention of expressing these new feelings about myself so that I could share them with others and they could have the same feelings about themselves. I often used myself as a model because I was readily available and so of course the women in my paintings more closely resembled me.
I am over 40 now, and the series continues and strengthens. I do not sit down with the intention of painting a self portrait in any way. I paint intuitively, without a plan, and each character comes through in her own way. But as a woman who paints about women, they are certainly a reflection of part of me.
I know that I cannot capture the experience of all women. I hope to capture as much of the universal feminine as I can while also striving to be inclusive our diversity. When I paint I hope to express feelings of peace, balance, self love, community, personal growth, inner beauty and strength.
The feeling of being held by something greater than yourself. I paint, yes, to express my own feelings about these things. So that I can share them with you, so that you can feel them too.