The current body of work retells the stories of women, mythical and biblical, real and imagined. These archetypal images enquire into the essence of human experience revealed in feminine form. The watercolor paintings had their origin in the personal experience of realizing the ways that life transforms us. The artist’s own realization of how she had been marked by events and emotions became clear in her identification with the fragile and fearless figures that emerged from her imagination. Through the creative process, pain had been transformed into beauty. What began as an inward, healing process moved outward to reclaim the history of images of the feminine, ranging from the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf to present-day women who embody the energy of their female antecedents. They all have chosen a path of exposure of both their outward identities and their inner selves. For these women, the depth of their experiences has reached the surface, symbolically in the form of the motifs that cover their skin. The tattoo lattice sometimes extends to the children the women hold, as an imprinting of the memory of ancestral female power. The process of creating these images begins with a concept, first visualized, then realized through finding the right model, props, and lighting–with photographs used as an aid. These paintings depict real women, not idealized images, so that each model’s real beauty is reflected back through the work. The completing of a painting is a labor-intensive process that can take many weeks. These works embody a paradox: while rendering strong imagery, the delicacy of watercolor conveys the psychic openness of the whole process. Recent paintings in oil strive to realistically capture the human form, seeing in the lives of contemporary women an abiding spirit. When the work, very personal in its development, is finished, it is ready to be shared. These paintings are a form of visual storytelling and they welcome the strong and involved reactions of viewers. This work speaks directly from the soul of the artist and invites viewers to enter into in its transformative nature. -John Mendelsohn (NYC - 2006)
Biography: Tina Blondell was born in 1953 in Salzburg, Austria, to an American father and Austrian mother who encouraged her early interest in art. As a child, her father taught her to draw, and travels with her parents exposed her to art throughout Europe. Although early on she attended private art lessons and later took classes in painting, Blondell is essentially self-taught. Crucial to her education as an artist, was her first-hand encounters with art in Italy, particularly the work of Caravaggio, with its sense of stage-lit drama, and of Artemisia Gentileschi, whose powerful paintings and life as an artist and a woman had been recently rediscovered. Other influences that Blondell cites are Goya and Francis Bacon, both of whose paintings combine an emotional impact with a vision of the human condition. She notes, as well, her interest in the ornamented Secession work of Gustav Klimt. Blondell's involvement with earlier art informed both her technique and interest in narrative, and her quoting of images from the history of art in this painter's decidedly contemporary work. In the mid 1990s, Blondell settled in Minneapolis, where she continues to live, producing The Cradle of Civilization, a series of thirteen paintings which used the imagery of the egg and the female body, in an extended meditation on fertility and the sacred in women's lives. The series encompasses the ancient and the modern, ranging from the symbols of age-old cultures to the ongoing Eastern European tradition of geometrically painted Easter eggs. In 1996, Blondell began a new phase in her work by producing a self portrait in watercolor. Deeply reflecting both her inner and outer life, the outpouring of work that began with that image continues with a panoply of female figures, all exhibiting a pattern on their skin that bespeaks both pain and transformation. Strongly imaginative, these depictions of mythic, biblical, and modern figures use the delicacy of watercolor to embody both a sense of vulnerability and of beauty emerging from the depths of difficult experience. In 2000 Blondell began to re-familiarize herself with the medium of oil paints. Her current work depicts contemporary women from historical, folkloric, and mythological perspectives. A common thread to the new work is a focus on the interplay of light and dark elements – the chiaroscuro of the Italian masters who originally captured Blondell's imagination as a child growing up in Italy. Blondell has exhibited her work widely including solo exhibitions at the Fraser Gallery, in Washington, D.C. and the Shelly Holzemer, in Minneapolis. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Weisman Art Museum.
Country: United States
Development by Magic Web Solutions.