Martha's Blog

Eva and Jay

I have come across two women artists I didn’t know of whose paintings have knocked me off my feet. I am going to introduce you to them here.

First is Eva Kubbos. She was born in Lithuania but moved to Australia when she was 24 years old. I saw her work in a museum in Australia when I traveled there a couple of years ago. Her abstracted (and not so abstracted) landscapes had so much emotion in them, and her colors ranged from light and airy to deep and rich. Some of her paintings very obviously referenced the landscape, and others veer into pure abstraction. The one thing that unites them is that they are all an expression of the natural world. She titles all her work, whether representational or abstract, with words that describe her relationship to nature: “The Red Cliffs”, “Earth in Spring” and “Dark Summer” are a few of the titles I could find while scrolling through the internet.

I was delighted to discover that she also was a printmaker. While she was known for her oil paintings she also worked on paper with watercolor, and indeed that was the medium of the piece of hers I first saw at the museum. I was amazed at how dense her color was in the large watercolor that first drew me to her work. You can read more about her HERE.

Here are some examples of her work:

Earth in Spring.jpeg

The second artist I just recently discovered is Jay deFeo. She was a contemporary of Eva Kubbos, as it turns out, and they both worked on paper as well as canvas. She was born on the East Coast and moved to the West Coast where she lived and worked until her death at age 60. Her drawings are mysterious and meticulously rendered, done in minimal color, while her paintings have a rawness to them with their rough edged shapes and slashes of color. I admire that she could express herself in both ways, not abandoning one in favor of the other. Her work also references nature so of course I feel a resonance there as well.

She was a contemporary of Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler, two more of my favorite artists. You can read more about her HERE.

Here are some examples of her work:


I am always so excited to find an artist who I didn’t know of before and research them and their work. It is even more exciting to me when I discover the creator of some image that draws me like a moth to the flame is a woman, perhaps one that has been less celebrated than her male contemporaries but is just as worthy. I hope you enjoy checking these artists out too.