The Symbolism and Inspiration behind Candace Being Candlish on Canvas
Like her art, Candace Lovely’s use of words is a creation uniquely her own. As the artist introduces this piece, she approaches it personally and relationally, inviting you to “meet” Candace Being Candlish on Canvas. A self-portrait of sorts, it’s also a signature piece (to her collection, and in that incorporates several of her artistic signatures). A simple and relaxed piece in its visuals and feel, it’s actually one of the more complex for what she has included and her creative reasoning behind it.
At the Baths
Owing to her having been trained in the classics as well as her original love of classic art and artists, so many of Lovely’s paintings draw from the inspiration and style of classic works. Lovely’s Waiting for Santa referencing Mary Cassat’s Little Girl in a Blue Armchair or her Waiting for Sargent reminiscent of John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, or her Arlington Street Showers paying due homage to Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day, just to name a few. Here we see her voice again call upon the muse of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ several bath paintings, most famously The Turkish Bath.
Says Lovely of the evolution of this piece, as she was recreating on canvas the garden and trellis she designed in life, “I immediately thought of how much I love the neoclassical period and Ingres who painted The Turkish Bath, and the relationship to a contemporary hot tub, so I included it and myself stepping into the role of one of his models,” she says creating something that is intentionally reminiscent of Ingres’ settings.
In the Gardens
When Lovely says she designed the garden, this is as full a definition as the word can entail, from architectural to horticultural. She designed the garden itself, selecting and tending the copious blooms and prevalent foliage. More poignant to her art portfolio, she also designed the trellis, crowned in hearts and with a structure that comprises her famous Xs and Os, the stars of so many of her Good and Lovely pieces.
Of the title, this piece was almost dubbed “Venus Visits Vermont” in correlation with lovely’s other Venus de Milo inspired paintings. Instead, she chose as she often does to be playful with language and with her own name, keeping the feeling here light and playful rather than the more serious feminine forms she categorized under Venus.
The Language of Loveliness
Between Candace, english, and canvas, she lands on the identity of Candlish, owning her fluidity with language and communication, a quirk that she not only plays up, but which seems symbolic of the freedoms she takes in color, creativity, and perspective that make her art as fluid and warm as it is. In all, she sends the message that she doesn’t take herself seriously, but the detail of this setting and the deep subtle classic influences she takes most seriously of all.
Segueing from the romance and flair of Xs and Os, in the same way she introduces this piece with heart, she signs off in the same emotional space inviting viewers to “Please love my work like I do,” the sentiment of which is so evident across the body of Lovely’s work:
She doesn’t paint for herself; she isn’t driven by statement or trend; she paints what she finds to be lovely in the hopes that all lovers of art will see the loveliness too.