"I enjoy studying the female nude as an antidote to the structure and daily routine of my career as a fashion illustrator. My illustration work for clients often requires exacting detail and many revisions. Countless tiny, precise brush strokes and layers upon layers of decision making go into each finished product. This occasionally needs to be off-set by a more introspective, reflective method of creating. My figure studies are this outlet. When I step away from my miniscule paint brushes used to create individual eyelashes on a fashion figure, and reach for a big sumi-ink brush, it is as though I can feel weight lift off my shoulders. The freedom that comes with this style of work is a meditative salve for the day to day. The more I delve into studying the female form, the more I learn to let go of control and let the medium tell the story on a very fundamental level. Water bleeding into paint and dripping unexpectedly creates a world of light and shadow. Oil paint massaged in a thin glistening layer into canvas lets unexpected color energies interact with one another to create emotion. When I began painting nudes they were electric pink, neon almost. It was flashy and tongue in cheek and made quite a splash with my clientele. But in looking back these figures were still very much attenuated, restrictive fashion bodies. The poses still felt conscious. My first show at Sozo pushed me to begin to let go of some of this default mode of representing the female form. And over the subsequent two years I’ve continued to study and delve deeper into the beauty of traditional figure renderings from life studies. The palette, the compositions, the mediums have all begun to shift to evoke a new mood that reflects the introspective softness I feel when working on these pieces." - Inslee Fariss
Artist Inslee Fariss, originally of Leesburg, Virginia, has been drawing and painting practically since birth and currently lives and works in New York City. Inslee has been drawing the female form in various iterations since the very earliest days she put pen to paper. As a little girl, her paintings were mermaids and princesses - inspired as any child of the 80’s would be - by The Little Mermaid. As a teenager, her art evolved to have a fashion focus. She began to explore the interpretation of women through the attenuated, highly stylized lens of fashion illustration while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Inslee attended Washington & Lee University while simultaneously launching her brand, Inslee By Design. Her new company would capitalize on her fashion illustrations while she studied studio art and art history in undergrad, developing a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the study of physical anatomy and female form throughout the history of art. Today, Inslee marries these two elements of her experience in her figurative works she shares with the Sozo Gallery. The lines and colors found in her paintings live in a space between the gestural playfulness of fashion illustration and the tranquil and graceful energy of traditional figure study.