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"Difficult Women" (first four of the series)

"Difficult Women" (first four of the series)

This is a group shot of the first four paintings in the LiShinault "Difficult Women" series.

LiShinault's ongoing series of art in various media in regard to graceful empowerment featuring those who create other ways to get by when they have lost something invaluable.

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Difficult Women

Difficult Women

“Difficult Women” oil on canvas, yarn burlap, goldleaf ”Difficult” is the namesake piece from the **“Difficult Women” theme. It was made at the same time as three others of similar size that, when placed in order together spell out a “mantra” seen on the titles posted on boards on top of each work. When all together, they read “Difficult Women, Stay Apart, Women Apart, Stay Difficult”. All the women in the paintings with these particular titles hover in long dark dresses. They each have long red gloves replacing their arms. This one has the gloves attached to a sash around her waist, and her fingers hold a white string horizontally. Her hair is covered with a veil, somewhat a mourning veil. She looks thoughtfully at the viewer….. I like to think her expression shows mystery and wisdom.
yr: 1995

This painting is most important to me because while making it, a river of thought and ideas were opened. Before this, I had never made any artworks that particularly belonged to a series. This just came over me, and I ‘went with it’. I go back to this theme, “The Difficult Women” still. Over the years as I’ve made more of this theme, I have come to realize in my psyche, hidden meanings and reasons behind what brought me to make these. I came to realize my mother inspired the series. She had a major loss in her life when I was young, and I grew up watching her deal with this in various ways….to rise above her problems in life. The ‘missing arms’ are a symbol of her loss, since she was a young widow. She herself is (was) not ‘difficult’….it is (was) her life that has (had) been made difficult because of her loss. I do not expect people to understand the meaning of this in my “Difficult Women” themed works from first sight. However, if they decide to read about ‘my’ meaning behind the theme, I hope they will feel empowered when they look at the series. It is about so much more than ‘missing arms’.

** ‘Difficult Women’ definition: A ‘LiShinault’ artwork in regard to graceful empowerment featuring those who create other ways to get by when they have lost something invaluable. Most art in the ‘D.W.’ theme have missing arms, which are ‘replaced’ by another means. -LiShinault
72" H x 22" W

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Women Apart

Women Apart

Oil on canvas, yarn, burlap, goldleaf, wood
One of four of the earliest ‘Difficult Women’ themed paintings. The four paintings began as one large canvas of paper doll style women. The arms sticking straight out bothered me from the start, so I decided they would each be individual paintings, but first I cut the arms off of each one.
A mantra was going through my head at the time: “Difficult women stay apart, women apart stay difficult.”
I decided to use the words for each of the four titles.
“Women Apart” was the third of the four works. Her eyes are barely visible, and she has long red gloves (which are throughout all four paintings) draped around her shoulders as if she is a mannequin….no feet, she is somewhat hanging from a string on display in her. The hands hold a pair of strung together wings….remnants of a sweet bluebird, or a fallen angel.

-LiShinault
72" H x 37" W x 2" D   

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Remain True

Remain True

34" W X 72"H Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap, wooden 'header'. From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.
72" H x 34" W

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Apart

Apart

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn, burlap, wood, goldleaf

This painting is a cornerstone for LiShinault art. The main subject is a self portrait of an earlier period. This was a 'Lisa' from '89-'91. She looks back in the direction of her first 'serious relationship', which was full of good, yet also 'not so good' experiences, those which often accompany young naive 'love'. Ahead of her are symbols of a happier future. The goat represents the good forces, those of friends she encounters who help her get back onto a more positive path. She is also being led (on skates) into a path of stars and sunflowers, representing her future love.
"Apart" is pieced together in the traditional 'Difficult Women' style...re-attached arms....these are in place using red veil gloves.
In short, "Apart" tells the story of a broken hearted young lady, who finds her path toward happiness through the help of friends and future love...and she is still following that lovely path.
72" H x 54" W x 2" D   

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Hula

Hula

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap. From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.
85" H x 39" W x 4" D   

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Beautiful Women

Beautiful Women

“Beautiful Women” is from a period of time just after I made the first several works from the “Difficult Women” series. This is also part of that series, which is a symbolic LiShinault theme about people who find other ways to get by and rise above after dealing with 'difficult' problems of life.
In her doll-like world, her red-gloved ‘arms’ rest sweetly secured at each side while she stands prim and petite looking demurely away.
This one, like many others, has a dress of collaged newsprint…..obsessively chosen bits of newsprint.
When nearing completion, I went for a walk outside my then studio in Cabbagetown of Atlanta, where I knew I could find a nice scrap of wood around the corner. I attached it above her head and gave her a title. “Beautiful Women”….it is in plural form because it represents so many.

-LiShinault
*A detail of "Beautiful Women" is available as a pendant. See further details at this website by looking at the LiShinault Jewelry gallery page.
69.5" H x 34" W x 2" D   

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Rest

Rest

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap, gold leaf, wood, drawer pulls. From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.
58" H x 47" W x 1.75" D   

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WallFlower

WallFlower

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap, vinyl, collage, silver leaf. From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.

A lovely figure gazing back at the viewer….It is still one my favorite subjects for painting. In this case, instead of the full-length vertical I had been making so many of before this, I decided to go with a seated figure. “WallFlower” was painted at the same time as “Hands In Lap” of similar size and subject matter. The armless torso intensified my choice to remain simplified…thus borrowing once again from the Venus de Milo statue.
I posed for this with a fluffy flower in my hair…trying to make it ‘not look like me’ because I only needed myself as a model for the placement of the eyes, etc. I decided the skirt area was too spacious, so like many other past works of that time, I filled the area with selected bits of collaged newsprint ....satisfying my appetite for a touch of abstract. Then, took a blade and cut a rectangle ‘window’ with the idea of filling it in with a paperdoll chain. Perfect…almost too feminine, but who cares?
Our shy little lady ended up with a somewhat regal expression I think. She gazes forever out at the crowd…
34" H x 22" W x 1.25" D   

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The Night

The Night

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap, silver leaf . From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.
51" H x 72" W x 1.75" D   

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Holding On

Holding On

Acrylic on shaped wood panel
yr: 2018

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Stay Difficult III

Stay Difficult III

Acrylic on wood panel
yr: 2018

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The Amazing One Shoe Trick

The Amazing One Shoe Trick

Oil with acrylic on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap, copper, silver, & gold leaf .

This painting is an example of my "Difficult Women" series. It is made up of canvas pieces that were cut out from other paintIngs... just waiting to be used in something else. The 'ants' hanging by strings in this piece are renditions of 'cooties' from the old-style game "Cootie'. The other pieces were originally together in another painting entitled "Magic Women".....I decided she had to be reconfigured, so I enlarged her into this new form. She is a magician performing a trick of sorts for us, fooling the eye with her imagery. This is a monster of a piece. It has a zillion stitches and gold, silver, and copper leafing on top of sealed burlap.
62" H x 42" W

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Pond

Pond

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap. From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.
36" H x 30" W x 1.25" D   

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Treat

Treat

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn, & burlap, silver leaf, gold leaf.

“Treat”, another from the “Difficult Women” series, was intended to resemble an old fashioned doll more so than an actual person. The circus is her arena, as the showgirl and her little dog entertain the crowd with treats held possibly much too high on her extended pole ‘arms’. At least one treat is within grasp.

54" H x 30" W x 1.75" D   

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Golden

Golden

Oil on canvas, sealed yarn & burlap, gold & silver leaf, collage. From the "Difficult Women" ongoing series.
36" H x 36" W x 1.25" D    Weight 3 lb

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