While some painters prefer to depict their female subjects with fragile expressions and brittle bone structures, Japanese-born, San Francisco-based artist Junko Mizuno (HF Vol. 23 cover artist) crafts surreal female characters charged with an electric, mystical power. For her newest series of paintings and drawings, Mizuno looked to the folklore of her native country and created a new body of work that pays homage to the strength of women in Japanese mythology and history. Mizuno’s solo show, “Rising,” will open alongside Mab Graves’s “The Runaways” at Gallery Nucleus in La Alhambra, CA this Saturday, September 21. Take a look at Mizuno’s new work below.