Forward, by Penny Santy | 48×36 | oil on linen

Being a woman artist, an important theme to my art is strength. While strength is an important aspect to anyone’s life because of its effects on their personal life, family, work, ect., it’s been of particular importance for women because women have had to overcome so many stereotypes and inequality. Strength effects character and self-confidence, and can be manifested in so many ways. Sometimes it can be seen in quite patience, as I observed in an old female longhorn that I depicted in Days End, as she patiently waited in the sun of the late afternoon for the others in her herd to finish eating before she could move in.


Joan Mitchell

“If women are to compete, they have to be tough,” Joan Mitchell once said. She lived up to this quote, and her paintings manifest it in so many ways. They are not only very large, demanding respect, but her marks show confidence in the loose strokes, confident lines, scrubs, and gobbed on thick paint. She unleashed her whole body and soul into her work, and the end result is both determined and lyrical.


Alice Neel

Strength happens when risks are taken. Alice Neel used simple, minimal marks that were loose and confident, and her paintings show pure honesty in her subjects. Mary Cassatt also portrays simple honesty in her paintings, using formal elements and how they related to each other, and was interested in dealing with inner struggle and domestic issues. Another female artist who showed tremendous strength is Frida Kahlo. Her paintings were representations of her own life and emotions, where she worked through her struggles, physically, with her identity and with her marriage and country. Her work used strong imagery and metaphor.

The works in my Connect-Disconnect: the Bovine Series paintings explore various manifestations of strength, energy and connections between beings or within themselves. The bull, with symbolic references to power, determination, physical strength, stability and confidence seemed like a perfect way to express these things after I had been observing them for some time. I continue to work with expression and gain strength in the use of my marks and imagery. As a woman artist, I’m determined to have a voice.


Days End by Penny Santy | 36×36 | oil on canvas

You can view more work by Penny Santy at http://pennysanty.smugmug.com.