Ethereal women float over clear water in the enchanting paintings of Marissa Oosterlee. The Dutch artist has been creating works inspired by the healing properties of water for years in a series called Wash my sadness away† In these paintings, female figures lay with their eyes closed, their bodies gently enveloped by the silent bodies of water.
Oosterlee finds real models in her art, all of which inspire the different interactions with the natural environments. She brings the image of these women to life by carefully depicting them in layers of oil paint. Some of these figures glide over the shallows face up, wearing romantic costumes, while others have their heads turned to the side, as if using the water as a pillow. However, each seems to share a connection to the oceanic environment.
“The paintings in this series – all titled wash away my sorrow, with different numbers and subtitles – are about ‘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 every now and then we need to purify our thoughts and strive for a state of purity.” While it’s hard to tell whether the women are sleeping or simply having a moment of peace, their relaxed expressions indicate that they are at peace with their surroundings.
Scroll down to admire Oosterlee’s work. You can purchase original artwork and prints through her online store and keep up to date with her latest creations by following her on Instagram.