To relax, some people go for a walk, others roll stress-balls in their hands and still others growl through gritted teeth while mowing down civilians with a machine gun in Call of Duty. Charlotte Healey paints women’s butts.
So it’s no surprise she went back to this subject matter to overcome a recent creative mental block. “You have to have an outlet. When I come home and try to unwind and stop thinking about everything, painting women’s butts helps,” she says. “The female form is not easy, but it’s what I know.”
Her pictures, both old and new, will be on display for Play Time, her solo show at Venus Envy during March.
Most of the pictures have watercolour backgrounds that include “repetitive items” such as coffee mugs and bras, and these are overlaid with images constructed using Sharpies and acetate paper. Some of the images in the foreground are “hands and things” to add “intrigue” to the series; there’s some bondage imagery, but the show is mostly about butts.
Healey is particularly proud of a series of three paintings she will exhibit that was inspired by a photo set she found in an old Playboy. “[The photos are of] a woman, ass-up in bed with her shirt over her head. You don’t see her face, just a mass of hair and butt,” she says. “Oh dear.”
The three paintings don’t have a name yet — appropriately, when it comes to titling her butt pictures, Healey is flying by the seat of her pants. “They have basic colours, very bright, very vibrant, and they’re all very butt central,” she says. “They’re basically bare-assed and buxom, so I’m most excited about those ones.”
The endearingly bum-obsessed Healey will be on hand during her exhibit’s opening night. She’s shy in crowds, particularly when she’s surrounded by her butt pictures with her proud parents standing nearby, but she hopes people will enjoy the paintings as much as she enjoyed creating them, and maybe take them home to “hang up and show to their more conservative guests.”