Eva Sturtz captures the female form in all its rawness and authenticity.
Eva Sturtz is a contemporary figurative artist based in Philadelphia whose work centers around the female figure and explores the human experience. Her passion for capturing candid moments of intimacy in women's private spaces is evident in her work.
Through scattered memories of nude figures, Eva portrays the nakedness of women both physically and emotionally, reclaiming the female form as an exploration of beauty, life, vulnerability, and expression of self.
By presenting the female form through the female gaze, her work challenges the objectification of women's bodies that has been perpetuated by men and media for centuries.
We got the chance to chat with Eva Sturtz about her creative process, choice of subject matter, and how Artwork Archive has been an integral part of her art career.
You can see more of her work on Discovery and learn more about her art practice below.
Eva Sturtz, What Devils Do You Know?, 24 x 36 x 1.5 in
Has your work changed over time—do you find yourself understanding your art career through different periods of expression?
I think every artist’s work changes over time. As human beings, we are in a constant state of change and evolution.
People, including myself, create art as a means of archiving life, thoughts, and feelings; it’s a way to capture and record meaningful moments. With that in mind, of course, the way we express ourselves changes as we walk through life and our view of the world around us, perception of self, and environments shift.
These changes are apparent in both the visual appearance of my work and also in the themes and concepts I explore.
Can you walk us through your artistic process, from initial inspiration to finished painting?
Collaging and sourcing images is a huge part of my creative process.
I am constantly saving both found images and those I capture myself in various folders. I categorize my images by the feeling I get when I look at them. When brainstorming ideas for composition, I often start by digitally collaging my selected images in Photoshop.
Sometimes I go into creating with a very precise vision of the end result. Other times I allow the piece to reveal itself to me as I go.
The most challenging part of my process is determining when something is “done.” Most times, I feel I could work on a painting forever—refining minute details, adjusting the color, and dialing in until the end of time.
The real indicator of a piece being finished is when you no longer feel compelled to work on it: when it becomes a chore. So, I work as long as I am overcome with passion, and when I fall in love with a new painting, I move on.
How did you first become interested in exploring the female figure in your artwork?
My mom is an artist and everything about my upbringing had creative undertones.
I was always encouraged to draw, paint, and explore all of my artistic urges and instincts. Even as a young child, I tended to mostly depict the female figure. I think for me, it was a way of understanding and documenting myself, very much like a journal entry.
The way I portray the female figure has evolved over time. For many years I was drawn to idealized female forms (model types, dramatically thin sexualized women in high fashion or the nude). Then, another artist told me I painted women's bodies as a man would. After that, my priorities shifted to capturing emotional reality, frankness, and the essence of a person rather than the “beauty” of the body.
As I started painting more self-portraits, I began to enjoy honoring the unique characteristics of each body, including my own.
Only in my later works did I start portraying myself with all my imperfections, such as scars, tattoos, wrinkles, uneven breasts—and other details that make me human and myself.
These days I strive to capture as much reality as I can. When I say reality I’m referring to honesty, not photorealism.
How do you hope your work impacts viewers’ and society’s perception of the female figure?
I don’t heavily consider impacting viewers’ or society’s perceptions of the female figure.
I can only hope to make any impact at all.
I release all expectations related to what people may think or feel upon viewing my work.
My only wish is that people are moved to feel something when they experience my paintings. Whether it makes them weep, they are offended, or it reminds them of an old memory, that is for them to decide. I am honored to inspire emotion of any kind.
Eva Sturtz, Love That We Can Keep, 20 x 20 in
What does success as an artist mean to you?
To me, art is about connection. It’s about developing a visual language all your own that other people can learn and understand through viewing your work over time.
I consider myself a successful artist any time I am able to communicate with someone viewing my work in a meaningful way. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing someone has taken something away from something so personal to me.
It’s not to say that I don’t also strive for other more conventional measures of success—such as selling work, supporting myself financially, and having opportunities to show my work. That said, I need the full package.
Simply selling my work is not enough. I need to know that I am connecting and making an impact beyond making aesthetically pleasing objects for people to decorate their homes with.
Why did you decide to use Artwork Archive to inventory/manage your artwork?
I started using Artwork Archive when I crossed over from being a hobbyist to a full-time creative professional.
I had previously organized myself using folders on my computer. As my business grew and formalized, I quickly realized I needed a more organized and professional system.
Artwork Archive allows me to inventory my work, track my sales, and offers a variety of tools that allow me to present my work to my collectors in a more polished manner. I strongly recommend it to any serious creative professional.
Eva Sturtz, Watermelon Sour Patch, 20 x 20 in
How do you use Artwork Archive on a daily basis?
I use Artwork Archive for a variety of functions. These include reviewing grant and artist opportunities, inventorying my artwork, accounting, invoicing, printing labels for shows, and creating Private Rooms for collectors.
The possibilities are truly endless.
Even after using it for a number of years, every now and then I discover a new function that makes my life easier!
What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?
The best advice I could give is to make something every day.
Don’t let what you’re experiencing in life or how you’re experiencing yourself ever act as a barrier to creating.
If you're sad, allow your sadness to inform your work instead of using it as an excuse to not create. If you're tired or busy, paint about being tired and busy.
Foster a relationship with your creative practice that becomes an inseparable part of your everyday life, making it impossible to go more than a day or so without producing something.
Also remember, they can’t all be bangers.
Do not expect everything you make will be exceptional. Throughout the course of your artistic career, you will make a lot of garbage. But, every piece of artwork serves as a stepping stone to the next, making each one necessary.
Eva Sturtz, Seeing Ghosts, 7 x 15 in
Eva Sturtz uses Artwork Archive to inventory her artwork, track her sales, and present work to her clients professionally.
You can make an online portfolio, catalog your artwork, and generate reports like inventory reports, tear sheets, and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free trial and start growing your art business.