Fain Hancock

Three Birds I
oil, glitter & crystals on canvas

Three Birds II
oil, glitter & crystals on canvas

On my fourth birthday my father buried a dog head next to a red ant bed. The next year on my fifth birthday he dug up the skull. I thought this was a birthday ritual and we would do this every year; he just wanted a convenient day to remember.

The dog head taught me about distillation, transition, time, a love of essence.

My mother was an actress who abandoned her career to marry. She made herself beautiful with cosmetics. From her I learned how to apply lipstick without a mirror, to appreciate artifice, beauty and loss.

Growing up in Texas, I was often told to be ladylike yet strong and independent. I wonder:

• What is learned about being a female and what is innate?
• Where is our consciousness and our body in this information stored?
• And is it wrong to want things to look beautiful?

My pieces explore these topics and examine some of the possibilities that being ladylike might offer: beauty, femininity, ripeness and essentially the aspect of visual appeal.

Through complex, layered surfaces I investigate a sense of patience and of precious time passing waiting for something to occur. I mine the powerful truth of my female experience attempting to reconcile the gritty earthiness of Bone Father with the love of artifice of the Actress Mother. These paintings are emotional landscapes and a record of thoughts forming.

Often the titles are quotes from my mother and other women relatives who, above all else, encouraged me to be ladylike.

© Fain Hancock