The Unfinished Woman

The Unfinished Woman is a limited series of 5 paintings I created. This is about my process and why I created what I did. The Unfinished Woman series is meant to be taken literally and figuratively. We as women are never really finished are we? We are always changing and adapting through work, raising families, holding together marriages, etc. I don’t think we are ever just…are. There are so many facets to us and we are constantly adapting. I don’t know…at least I am lol. I am forever changing and adapting. It’s not that I don’t like who I am, it’s just that as my kids age, they need me less and less and I find myself doing more and more of what I enjoy.

Unfinished Woman #1

These pieces I did were meant to convey that by appearing to be unfinished. There isn’t much detail in the faces and you can’t see their entire head area. Just small traces of hair. They were meant to be a bit abstract. And, of course, they are all mixed media pieces. The first one here was actually done on cardboard. You know the backside of paper pads? Whether it be watercolor paper, sketch paper? That cardboard in the back I save so I can use it as a substrate instead of just throwing it in the recycle bin. It is thick and had a good smooth surface. She was meant to be for practice before I moved on to canvass, but I liked the first one too much to treat as “practice.” There is a tiny bit of collage here in the first one. Just some spray ink stencil on text paper. I don’t know, I just like that touch of bright pink here among such neutral colors.

Unfinished Woman #2

Unfinished Woman #2 was created the same way. I took the cardboard and covered it with gesso to protect it. Then I drew the face with stabilo pencil. I added more gesso on top of the face to highlight areas and I take my catalyst painting wedge and just scraped all over the face. It’s messy and looks terrible at first lol. I did the process over several times with gesso and a bit of acrylic until I got to how I wanted it to look. I took some brownish spray ink and used it as a paint rather than a spray and painted around the eyes and hair. I filled it back in with my stabilo pencil and added the butterfly as a touch of collage.

Unfinished Woman #3 – Frida

Of course I HAD to do Frida…everyone does Frida lol. I created her the same way as the others, but this time I wanted to add a bit more color to her features using oil pastels. I love oil pastels because they smooth over and blend nicely with the fingers. I also wrote her name on top of her head instead of the traditional flowers you commonly see her wearing. And, no collage this time. She has actually been quite popular at my art shows, I’m happy to say!

Unfinished Woman #4
Unfinished Woman #5

My last two pieces ended up on actual canvas. If I want to sell my original art, I need to create something on a substrate that will last. Vintage papers and cardboard probably won’t hold up through the years. Both of these ladies were inspired by some vintage photos I found from the 1900s. I love their intensity to their eyes and tried to convey that in these pieces. They are a bit more colorful than the other paintings, but the processes were the same.

I thought about creating more, but I did these a while ago and haven’t been able to replicate them the way I’m happy with, so they are for now just five in the series. They are also a limited series. I will only be selling 300 prints of each. Once they are up to 300, you won’t be able to purchase them again. I wanted to make them really special. I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed creating them. Thank you so much for reading!

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2 thoughts on “The Unfinished Woman”

  1. They’re all beautiful! I know there are ‘standards’ to what you sell being able to last, but, isn’t the casualness of doing one on just a piece of cardboard, isn’t that mixed media? Would an old tin sign work better? Or, perhaps an old wooden plaque? I like canvass, but, shouldn’t any background be what makes it mixed media?
    I admire you so much!!

    1. Courtney Dixon Art and Design

      You are exactly right Su, yes, I think changing up the substrate can constitute in part a mixed media piece. But, doing say charcoal on paper versus cardboard, I don’t know that I would call that mixed media. In my mind’s eye mixed media is more than two mediums, ya know? I have some wood I have been meaning to paint on. Your comment just reminded me of that lol! Thanks Su!

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