When I began painting faces, I found it very challenging. What I painted didn’t resemble the image I had in mind at all! How my mind and hand translated a photo portrait onto a canvas was juvenile art. Features–especially matching the eyes–were they the same size, at least close to the same size? The same shape? How much space between them? How far down on the face should they be? Where is the nose in relation to the eyes? And the mouth? Did I mention mixing a realistic skin tone? And then, there is value contrast! Yikes…the map of the face is an art that isn’t easy to master.
Several years of practice has improved my facility to draw a face with some degree of realism. And, I can see that I need years more of practice before I feel accomplished in this area. If ever.
And, so, I allow the whimsy that has been part of my artist’s signature.
I do like the background in this painting. The soft colors and images that sort of arise from the mist. I also think about painting over the whole thing and discovering something else. Remembering that it’s all part of the learning process, I have compassion for my newly formed artist self. Compassion versus criticism. Practice versus procrastination.
Remember the old adage “Patience is a virtue.” It really is. Making art–it can’t be rushed. It can be…but the depth of what an artist gets from the creative process won’t be reached unless she is patient enough to be fully present with the work in process and with herself (himself). Any work of art is always an inquiry. With that, an answer won’t be forced but rather surfaces.
These days, things are very serious. I feel it in my body. It’s easy to forget my body. To relegate it to last place even though I have more time to tend it. Yesterday, I came upon this little video by Elizabeth Gilbert. What I love about it is that there are no words…
And now for something completely different,