It’s not unusual for pregnant women to feel less than beautiful, and Oklahoma City artist Kelly Brinkmeyer was no exception.
During her pregnancy in 2007, she channeled this frustration and killed two birds with one stone: learning to love her body while creating art — some nudity required.
It was a hot July day when Brinkmeyer made her first breast print. Irritated by the combining factors of heat, pregnancy and a lack of paintbrushes, she began to finger-paint.
From there, she began painting her ever-changing body.
Wanting to remember her body in that state without having to photograph it, she used her painted breasts to make an abstract image on canvas. She was so pleased with the result that she made more.
“These breast prints are about being a woman and feeling beautiful, no matter what size you are,” said Brinkmeyer. “That’s important, especially after feeling so awful about myself. These aren’t created to be sexual.”
In 2008, as a way to gain some revenue and market her work, the full-time University of Phoenix student launched her own company, Pineapple Rag Multimedia Artwork. Several of her paintings have sold, including 59 breast prints, two of which were purchased by The Flaming Lips front man, Wayne Coyne.
“Nobody pays me for the large amount of work that I do as a stay-at-home mom and student, so it feels great when someone purchases my art,” said Brinkmeyer, whose work will be on display at Thursday’s networking B.I.G. Event at the Gold Dome.
She aspires to one day work with breast cancer patients to produce more breast prints and to teach her 10-step process to students.
For now, however, she works on most of them alone. On occasion, she collaborates with friend and fellow artist Anne Willis, who has produced a handful of abstract backgrounds for the prints.