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December’s Muse of the Month is the artist who inspired me to start painting on wood panels: Audrey Kawasaki!
I first came across her work when I was in college, and immediately found myself drawn to her style. I’d never seen anyone integrate the texture of the canvas into a work of art like Audrey did in her paintings.
Combining muted palettes with the occasional pop of color, as well as plenty of motifs from the natural world, she uses oils, inks, and graphite to create soft, surreal, yet vibrant scenes around her vulnerable – and often nude – female subjects. The neutral colors and organic shapes that Audrey uses in her work bring to mind the graphic illustrations of art nouveau masters like Alphonse Mucha, which I think is fitting, since her work conveys the same sultry decadence that is so often associated with the art nouveau style. Because of this, Audrey’s paintings strike a strange balance between the surreal, the ethereal, the macabre, and the erotic. They have a unusual, dreamlike quality to them, and can be simultaneously unsettling yet appealing all at the same time.
I was never fond of oil paints myself, but I can’t help but be inspired when I look at Audrey Kawasaki’s work, even years later. Her paintings helped me realize that I didn’t have to limit myself to a white canvas, and, even more importantly, that the canvas itself could be used as a design element. If you’re feeling inspired too, you can see more of Audrey’s work by clicking here to check out her website!
All images sourced from audrey-kawasaki.com. All rights reserved.