On the Edge of Beauty Good and Lovely – Waves

On the Edge of Beauty Good and Lovely – Waves

Through decades of influence Candace Whittemore Lovely has created wave after wave of soft, beautiful, symbolic, and sentimental artistry, always with the intention of telling a story. She turns time and again to her favorite muses – “Fair Women,” the oceans and shores of Nantucket and Hilton Head Island, and the balance of attraction, as perfected by her “Good and Lovely” collection. Here, on the “edge” as she describes, she combines all of the above in a captured moment of billowing beauty with “Good and Lovely Waves.”

The ”Good and Lovely” collection was originally created for a 2001 gallery showing featuring, in the artist’s words, “the element of attraction, where each painting tells a story in black and white, with a medium hue of pink.”

More than just a palette preferred for its visual appeal, Lovely has extensively explained that even her color choice tells a story and this is one of relationship: “Opposites attract,” she explains, “and I wanted to explore what it is that attracts us, pulls us together, but also about the common grounds between us that soften extremes and make us blend.”

The initial collection grew out of her litany of “fair women at the shore” pieces when Lovely was struck by the “combination of the model’s dark hair, black ribbons on a white dress, black dog, and the pink of the umbrella. It reminded me of Good & Plenty™️ candies and how their bright colors made you feel,” she said regarding the candies themselves, the colors on the box, and the era that incorporated these colors into pop culture.

From that melody of visuals, voyeurism, and vibrant tones, Lovely’s contributions to the collection have covered everything from iconic personalities to iconic images in her triad of G&L flags, while syncopating those creations with softer selections like this one that serve as seams that sew the heart of this compilation together.

“Fair Women” have starred in too many of her creations to count, and of them, most are seaside from porches to sand dunes to rugged rock jetties. Here Lovely suggests that the primary figure share the leading lady role with the massive stretch of mother nature behind her in the roaring, rolling sea. In considering attractions for a new painting, she speaks the language of her two homes – Hilton Head and Nantucket – with the “biggest attraction in real estate, ocean front property.” Instead of the sometimes-subtle co-star rating of a sea-off-to-the-side, for this one Lovely calls it front and center in a triangular composition where it wraps its ever-churning arms around a trademark Fair Woman.

Like the rest of Lovely’s sorority of models, here too we find a the main figure in one of the artist’s personal dresses bedecked in the traditional “uniform” of her “Fair Women” subjects, with black bows (sometimes pink in other pieces, or mixed, and once blue, but always the same bows), white ruffles, and pink parasol.

Unique to this piece, “the dress repeats in the waves,” Lovely says pairing the symbolism of ever-repeating waves with “reflecting” on self and life. The artist once referred to this piece as “a pleasurable experience of oneself reflected in nature,” inviting the viewer to become a part of scene and the practice of soul-searching, specifically when seaside. She incorporates this figuratively and literally as we see the subject duplicated in the glassy surf, working the same vivid hues of the dress into the colorful highlights in the waves, “prismatically angling from horizon to sky.”

Where to go from here? Follow the artist’s journey in the order created, with the sequel setting, “Sandy Toes” and enjoy the flow of highlights and imagery, contemplation and storytelling, peace and attraction, repeating the loveliest of waves, right on the edge of beauty.

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