Ethereal women float across clear waters in Marissa Oosterlee‘s mesmerizing paintings. For years, the Dutch artist has been creating works inspired by water’s healing properties in a series called Wash Away My Sorrows. In these paintings, female figures lay with their eyes closed, allowing their bodies to be gently enveloped by the still bodies of water.
Oosterlee finds real models to feature in her art, all of whom inspire the different interactions with the natural environments. She brings the likeness of these women to life by carefully rendering them in layers of oil paint. Some of these figures glide across the shallow waters face up, wearing romantic costumes, while others have their head turned to the side, as though using the water as a pillow. Each one, however, appears to share a connection to the oceanic setting.
“The paintings in this series—all titled Washing Away My Sorrows, with different numerals and subtitles—are about the ‘then, now, and later,’” Oosterlee tells My Modern Met. “Life without water is not possible. Water symbolizes purity, clarity, and tranquility. It reminds us that we need to clear our thoughts every now and then and that we must strive for a state of purity.” While it is hard to distinguish whether the women are sleeping or simply in a moment of rest, their relaxed expressions indicate that they are at peace with their surroundings.
Scroll down to marvel at Oosterlee’s work. You can purchase original artwork and prints via her online store and keep up to date with her latest creations by following her on Instagram.
“Washing Away My Sorrows IV – Floating”
“Washing Away my Sorrows III – Vibhuti, a girl’s tale from India”
“Achelois – A Little Light In The Darkness”
“Washing Away My Sorrows – BLM edition, Hawaii”
“Washing Away My Sorrows – BLM edition, Ethiopia”
“Washing Away My Sorrows – BLM edition”
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