Artist Interview: Lindsay Petrick
Artist Interview: Lindsay Petrick
Could you tell us a little about the work you create?
I love painting women! It used to be because I was fascinated with hair and makeup. That still stands true but I found that I fantasized about becoming them because they are so unique and powerful.
What is the story behind the work you have up in the current show?
Each of the three pieces I have up are of course about powerful women.
The painting “A Fear is Born” is a narrative piece based off of something that happened to my mom when she was young. Her brothers found a snake and chopped the head off it. As a prank, they wrapped it around her neck without her knowing it was dead. This joke created a lifelong fear of snakes for my mom. Inspired, I decided to illustrate this story as a reminder that we can overcome our fears when we face them. Sometimes we don’t have a strong or clear reason why we are afraid of things, but if we remind ourselves that it’s ok to be afraid but not to live out of fear, it will help us move more fluidly through life. I specifically chose to make the subject a fearless black woman. As she’s gripping the snake by the neck with a blood-stained shirt, she looks us in the eye fearlessly and we have no other option than to respect her and look up to her for her courage.
I have always had a strong connection with the number 3. I see it everywhere. I love the shape of it. I even love the shape of a triangle, three lines to form one shape. So when I was creating “In Threes,” I wanted it to have the sense of a greater presence that I feel when a number 3 shows up in my life. It feels like it was put in my path to remind me to not get too comfortable or too routine. You will see the figure has a third eye, referencing the heightened consciousness that 3s give me. There are also a lot of triangular shapes in this painting, the eyes and the position of her arms make the shape of a triangle. She has moths flying around her, a symbol of intuition and observance as they too resemble the shape of a triangle. Her freckle patterns are like constellations to allude to the idea of a greater being, and some of those create triangles as well. I want to meet her someday. I think she has all the secrets to the universe and probably the answer to my unexplained attraction to the number 3.
After reading about the gruesome killings of whales the Japanese commit every year, I had this very satisfying thought about a strong, powerful goddess rising from the sea and dumping the hunters out of their boats to meet their own demise. Her expression and the snarl of her lip show us her complete disgust with them. The whale at the bottom has been speared, she was a little too late, but we only see 1 harpoon in the whale so there is hope that it will survive. Whale hunting is still going on in Japan, they have already killed over 300 whales this year, and so this is a reflection of my own feelings of helplessness and hope for the whales and my longing for a way to save them.
What is your preferred medium? What draws you to it?
I am a really busy person so I gravitate towards mediums that dry quickly. I work in watercolor, gouache and acrylic.
Do you have any current/ future projects you’re working on?
I just got a wood burning kit so I am excited to start experimenting with that.
How do you create a balance between beauty and dark or serious themes?
A lot of times my work has a darker tone than what I initially started with. I just let it flow out and stop painting when it feels right. I definitely spend a lot of time on the “pretty” details in my work. I really enjoy that part.
What was your favorite story to tell through painting?
“A Fear is Born” currently is my favorite. I think because it was a story my mom told me about her childhood I felt so connected to it.
Your work seems to be about women reclaiming or executing power, both in a personal sense and otherworldly sense, such as with Whale Hunter. Where does this drive come from, and why do you feel it’s important to explore?
I think I have always had a hard time breaking out of my shell. I think it’s even tougher as a woman. Painting women like this and fantasizing about being a powerful woman has been a healthy outlet for me.
You can check out more of Lindsay’s work @yasdnilpet
- On August 10, 2018