Canadian-based illustrator, Elly Smallwood, tends to the human body, treating it as raw inspiration. Her creations are mostly painted using oil, acrylic, and watercolor, making for striking artworks.
Smallwood graduated from OCAD University in 2011, but her interest in art started at a much earlier age. “As a kid I was constantly falling in love with something new everyday: painting, calligraphy, weaving, origami, sewing, sculpting,” she recalls in an interview for Playboy Magazine. “I was always addicted to that rush of creating something.”
Her intimate portraits, sometimes of herself, sometimes of the people surrounding her, tell the story of body recaliment. “The female form has been a battlefield in art history,” she argues. “Male painters painted it for their own pleasure; female painters painted it to reclaim it and give it agency.”
Take a look at some of her work below.