My current series, Steadfast, explores deeply feminine and fiercely strong human figures who are vulnerable yet unyielding. The work is aimed at challenging the viewer to consider feminine bravery and strength. The paintings are comprised mostly of broad, loose brush strokes, with finer detail around the face and sometimes hands, inviting the viewer to create an emotional connection, to reach beneath the outer experience, the visual noise of the external world into one’s memories, challenges, and humanity.
Although my work has evolved over time, a consistent thread is the centering of opposites, balance in the midst of tension, light in the midst of darkness, living on the edge of pain with beauty, grace and strength. I connect to a wildness that I feel is often shamed or suppressed. My paintings reflect my experience as a woman foremost but also as a human being, navigating and understanding myself within this world. My work mirrors my challenges, growth, and transformations. It’s a means of connection. It’s a means of reflection.
I use oil paint on canvas. I like to paint on big canvases in large brush strokes, splatters, and drips, conveying the mood and movement of my body through the brushstrokes. The messiness lends itself to the rawness of the experience while the tight focused areas reveal my intent. I paint human figures because they are an immediate connection for me, for my audience, and because I love to study the structures of face and form.
Opie Snow was born in Ashland, Oregon. She studied fine arts at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and University of Oregon in Eugene. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a painting emphasis from the University of Oregon in 1998, Opie traveled to Europe to research master painter techniques. On her return to Ashland, she spent a year studying classical drawing and painting with Semyon Bilmes of the Academy of Fine Arts.
In 2000, she co-founded Nuwandart Gallery in Ashland, Oregon, continuing to curate and exhibit there until 2003. Opie created costume design, installation work and performance art/dance with El Circo, an Art/Performance Collective based in San Francisco from 2001-2007. During that time, she started including texture and multi-media in her Ikebana inspired paintings; figurative florals on textured, sewn canvas which are stretched onto brushed metal frames. She began exhibiting up and down the west coast from Los Angeles to Portland.
In 2007 Opie Snow joined forces with Micah..Blacklight and moved to Brooklyn, New York to further her art career. In 2009 she and Micah created the collaboration called BlackSnow, a fine art, couture fashion, and multi-media company. BlackSnow had their debut show at IcoSahedron Gallery in New York City in 2010.
From 2011-2015 her work involving mythical figures, explored the experience of the feminine through the evolution of sexuality, power, demonization, oppression, liberation and redefinition.
She is currently living and painting in Oregon with her family but often travels to New York for inspiration, connection and fun.