Mother Nature holds many secrets but let me sketch you the following. All of a sudden you spot a naked woman on her own in the middle of a forest. Would you be attracted to her or would you run away screaming? Last year I saw the movie The Witch (2015) which was one of the inspirational sources to start this painting. I have put beautiful women in darker settings before like in my last Frida Kahlo painting. In this particular case I realized the attraction of a nude totally depends on the atmosphere, place and timing. At least it gives rise to mixed emotions and then some more.
In the past I have brought up so-called ‘romantic art’ in general and my discomfort with it. As such I planned this painting to be the opposite of romantic art. Therefor the beauty of this nude is compensated with things less obvious to the eye. I hope they will reach the spectator eventually. The model by the way is my dear friend Julia Filament, immortalized by art photographer Marco de Waal. I thank them for their beautiful reference picture. It shows a feel that stretches beyond snappy romantic shots you see so often on social media.
So I had the dark stuff, added animals to the scene, created mixed emotions, what else / next? It so happened I was listening to George Benson’s version of all time classic Nature Boy in the process of painting. It grew on me that the theme, after my initial darker thoughts, had to land on a positive note. Nature Boy became Mother Nature, stark naked. If you look very closely you can discover how fauna can turn into flora naturally. Such a discovery is only reserved for those who do not run away screaming but keep on looking.
Oil on wood panel (38.7 x 58.5 cm)
Artist: Corné Akkers