Ain't No English Rose

First painting of 2015:

Ain't No English Rose, 2015

Ain't No English Rose, 2015

I've wanted to do a pregnant dress for my Flawless series, and here it is finally! Don't be surprised if there's some follow up ones, the belly was fun to paint:)

The title is an obscure reference to the Dire Straits' song Portobello Belle, which includes the lines:

She thinks she's tough
She ain't no English rose
But the blind singer
He's seen enough and he knows
Do a song about a long gone Irish girl

As usual, having grown up listening to this song, I have my own interpretation, which may or may not be accurate. But I thought it was about a girl who was both tough and attractive. One who had true grit, as it were, and wasn’t just a pretty “flower” only good for decoration. I feel empowered by the song and wanted to bestow that feeling on this painting. 

You can view the painting live at Art Ark Gallery in San Jose from Jan. 10-Feb. 6, 2015. Check their website before you go since they have limited gallery hours. 

 In my Flawless series I strive to reshape gender norms by refusing to apologize for femininity, recognizing that pretty isn't weak.