Description Purple Tara is the second Steampunk-themed painting that I created. While I sometimes re-claim beauty images from the mass media and change them up, this painting is based on an every-day woman. I found her face striking in its luminosity and a sense of wisdom and compassion that she radiates. That's why she has the name 'Tara', after the Tibetan bodhisattva of compassion.
“I paint portraits of strong, curvy women in a dark Victorian and Science-Fiction inspired style (frequently known as “Steampunk”) because they signify a new era of changing beauty aesthetics.
When I first discovered the genre, Steampunk fascinated me through its emphasis on scientific invention, fine craftsmanship, and the intersection of the elegant Victorian past with a decaying modern world.
It’s a different subculture, a relief from the pressure to conform to the mainstream’s values. It and includes, for me anyway, deep appreciation of the intellectual, the bizarre, the imperfect and the subcultural. These values directly contradict the American pursuit of homogenized aesthetics of perfection and beauty.
My art is a manifestation of these values and more. I am using my creative energy to invent something beautiful and unique. My art conveys and encourages a return to dignity, authenticity, healthy female body image and sexuality, while adorned in alternative style. My paintings are straightforward, handcrafted artistry and they invite the viewer to emotionally connect and respond.
Through my art, I wish to inspire viewers to develop their own creativity, uniqueness, and personal concept of beauty.
- Jessica Van Hulle
Jessica Van Hulle was born in the middle of the night in San Francisco General Hospital in 1979. She grew up in Orinda, CA, but frequently escaped to Berkeley and San Francisco. She was raised according to New Age spiritual philosophies and throughout her adolescence she extensively studied subcultures, psychology and world religions.
She majored in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, with a focus on creating story and emotion in her science-fiction/fantasy illustration and her realistic figure painting. She became a published freelance illustrator, while also exhibiting her fine art in galleries, in 2001 and received her B.F.A. in Illustration in May 2004.
Van Hulle is nationally honored for the fine draftsmanship and emotional richness of her art, having exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. In addition to Illustration and Fine Art Van Hulle added Fashion Design to her creative repertoire in 2007. She has been designing sexy Halloween costumes, lingerie and high heel shoes for several industry-leading international companies since then.
These experiences, artistic loves and philosophical interests culminated into her launching her own Fine Art and Fashion Design business “Hourglass 1875” in July of 2011.
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