Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Creative heART Challenge: Day 16...

I'm tired, but I feel good about what I accomplished.  I had to play around with this one a bit.  At first, I painted the figure with flowing, Kiki Smith hair... but I thought it was a bit distracting.  And then I had the dots going throughout the "sticks", but the pattern on pattern was a bit much and really flattened the space.  So I painted them back to black and incorporated the "halos".  In some ways, I think this one was probably one of my bigger challenges, because it depicts an older face.  You can draw the lines and add the right shadows, but there's something almost ethereal about capturing a person's true age.  So that's why it's dang hard and a lot of people fail at it.  I remember being in a residency program with an artist named Fran Kaufman.  She was witty, charming, and very thoughtful.  She also spoke her mind.  At the time she was working on these really abstracted portraits.  There were probably a hundred of them, all pinned in a careful grid.  She said, "I like babies and I like old people.  Everyone in between, I could care less about.  The babies and the old people are so similar, but so different.  Heck, they're decades apart, but can look so much the same.  What's that thing that distinguishes them?  It's not the teeth or hair.  Is it wisdom?  Exhaustion?  I'm interested in what makes a face a face."  I still think of that conversation and I laugh to myself whenever I see a baby painted during the Renaissance that looks like a little old man.

To find out more about this painting and to add it to your collection, CLICK HERE.

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