Finding balance between fantasy and reality…not just a simple pattern!

I have been drawing faces for a long time. I started with portraiture and focused on planes and angles as I drew out the personality. I ventured into mixed media and played with the possibilities of the face. I learnt the patterns that are used to draw a face in proportion and taught my students how to divide a face up so all the measurements were correct and then the patterns that would allow them to draw a realistic face. I have enjoyed using these patterns and learning different approaches from many amazing artists on line. I realised that in all the play I could create some strong images but they were not quite what I amagined. I look at the works of Lisa Cyr and her powerful Renaissance influenced pieces. They are inspiring but do I want something that realistic? The layers and depth are astounding. What I was looking for was something in between. I stumbled on a course by Kate Thompson where she explores the work of the pre-Raphealites. Her approach reminded me to go.  back to basics. It is too easy to assume that you know how to draw something and begin to create to a formula. Looking, really looking at the things that influence you and then diving in to the creative process is what keeps the work fresh, alive and open to possibilities. Kate modelled the cartoon drawings ( detailed pencil estuaries) done by the old masters.this was enough to send me in a new direction. The piece depicted below is a product  of this more traditional approach that is based on  close stud rain studies prior to completion of the work. I feel I have taken a step further with this piece as elements of reality and fantasy merge in this mixed media offering. Of course this is a work in progress and as always there is still a lot to learn on the way to completion. Not too much further to go though as I don’t want to overdo it,

I don’t want a face that looks like a photo but I don’t want something so simplified that it looks like I am just working from a pattern. This is a fine when I actually want the pattern…especially in the smaller works…and the basic guidelines are amazingly helpful. This is not always true though. The larger my canvases bcome, the more I want the specific details that only come from close analysis of people and faces…photos are great reference.

So manyy ways to create a face and so many ideas . This is my explorative space as I find the many ways of interpreting a face, from a simple pattern to a detailed representation. I won’t make my images too detailed as I so want to play with my layering process. The aim is to find the flow between the different approaches and learn to be flexible with what comes out. sometimes I need greater detail Ne sometimes  I just need to fall back to the pattern that gives my work and life enough structure to allow me to move forward.I am back to trusting the process and listening to my intuition. I am moving closer to the vision in my mind and learning how to develop the sense of flow within the image. Now the challenge is to find a similar sense of flow and balance in my every day life,

Flowers bloom, life emerges a and flows forward.

Flowers bloom, life emerges a and flows forward.

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