St. Louis-based artist Ali Cavanaugh paints dreamlike watercolors of female subjects on wet clay panels. She refers to her works as “modern frescos,” due to their similarity to the fresco-secco style of painting, and the luminosity she creates through a method of layering translucent pigments on bright white surfaces. In each portrait Cavanaugh aims to paint the minute details of her subject’s physical appearance, while also evoking a “tender unseen presence that transcends understanding in the depth of a soul.”
Her work is currently included in the group exhibition Painting the Figure Now at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in Wausau, Wisonsin through September 28, 2018. Her new book Modern Frescoes, published by Unicorn Press, will be available for preorders this fall. You can see more of Cavanaugh’s work on Instagram and Facebook.