Just last night over a glass of wine and chocolate marscapone cheesecake, Mr. Forager and I were talking about where I saw my studio work going and I told him I didn’t really have a desire to become a figurative painter. And then this morning I came across the work of Jennifer Nerhbass. In her work, the New Mexico artist explores “The relationships of women to themselves and their environment”. Ok, maybe I’ve changed my mind.
As women, we get so caught up in society’s idea of what we should look like and who we should be. We find ourselves spending hours looking for that perfect little dress, even when we’d rather be outside. Since we’ve been traveling, I’ve been slowly stripping away those artifices I’d built up for so long. That closet filled with shoes, many of them rarely worn. Drawers filled with make-up and perfume. I’ve learned that Mr. F sees me at my most beautiful when we are hiking together– not in heels but hiking boots, no makeup, hair usually a mess. But what he’s seeing is the inspiration and peace that fills and recharges my spirit and soul. We so often forsake that for ourselves.
In her work, we see Nehrbass’s women often out of place in the wild, like they’ve suddenly been plucked out of their urban existence and somehow landed in the midst of wilderness. I see so many parallels with how we live as modern women and these paintings. We become so obsessed with creating beauty in ourselves that we lose touch with the life and beauty around us.