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Paintings by Kim Novak

River Dancers, painting by Kim Novak
River Dancers, Pastel, by Kim Novak

Actress Kim Novak is best known for her film roles in such movies as Picnic and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; however, she was a visual artist first. She began painting as a child and was even offered scholarships to the Chicago Art Institute before her career path was redirected into acting in the 1950s. After a short but successful career, Novak began to move away from acting and back into her artwork. In her website bio she says, ” I turned my back on a successful and lucrative career to define who I was and what I really wanted to give and get out of life. I moved to a cliffside dwelling along the wild coast of Big Sur, California with the purpose of creating a lifestyle in harmony with nature while combining it with my love of painting and writing poetry.”

Novak says that her style of painting is the result of “striving for a harmonious union of impressionism and expressionism.” “I have always been influenced by life as it exists around me – touched by my past, the world of make believe – and concerned with what affects life today and how it might effect and infect life tomorrow. Through the use of symbolism I have found a way to express my passion for life, vent frustrations and experience the freedom of self-expression. This is the ultimate reward that comes to the visual artist.”

Kim Novak exhibited her paintings to the public for the first time in 2012 at a show presented by The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society at the Old Mint. Novak’s next exhibition will be at the Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, Ohio, in May 2014. The exhibition will consist of 27 original pastel paintings by Kim Novak. Novak will make an appearance on Sunday, May 4, for the exhibit’s opening. Noted Pastel artists Richard McKinley and Harley Brown will be guests at the event. The exhibition continues through June 29, 2014.

Transformation - Nelson Mandela, painting by Kim Novak
Transformation – Nelson Mandela, Pastel over Watercolor Underpainting, by Kim Novak

In her description of her painting of Nelson Mandela, Novak says, “I tried showing his spirit transformed into a butterfly, with wings made up of his dream to form a Rainbow Coalition that included all races and all nations coming together in peace and harmony. I wanted the drips in my watercolor underpainting to represent the sweat and tears that were endured by himself and his people for their freedom.”

Vertigo / Vortex of Delusion painting by Kim Novak
Vertigo / Vortex of Delusion, Pastel over Watercolor, by Kim Novak

Novak’s painting Vertigo / Vortex of Delusion was commissioned by Turner Classic Movies as part of their 20th anniversary celebration and was exhibited at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel during the 5th Annual TCM Classic Movie Festival.

She says about the painting, “I painted the blonde hair of the fantasy object of desire, Madeleine, as it begins to unravel from its core, creating a vortex of delusion. As Madeleine’s impostor, Judy submits again to being made over in the image of obsession, this time in return for love, not money.”

Visit Kim Novak’s website to view more of her artwork and to read more of the stories behind each piece. Prints of her paintings are available for purchase at her website as well.

Visit the Pop Life Art homepage for links to many more actors that paint.