Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Portraits

Portraits frighten me a little, if that makes any sense. There is something uncanny and unsettling about seeing a face, particularly a loved one's face, emerging from the seemingly random splotches of colour on the page. It is eerily intense to sit and stare at the contours of someone's mouth, someone's eyes. And to render truthfully is devastating... but it is even more difficult to render while imparting some of one's own energy. Difficult, and a bit frightening, yes. And when it fails... agonizing. But, as I've rediscovered, it can also be sensuous and quieting and therapeutic.

I started with my own face, I suppose, because it's mine to ruin and make an unflattering mess of, if it came to that. But I feel as though I ended up somehow capturing the slightly lost and half-wild energy that is masked so easily in photos. 


Staring at my own rendition of myself is doubly strange. I experienced this remarkable sense of confrontation. I am not sure whether to run from it or be thrilled by it.

The funny thing is, I continue my 'portraiting' with images of my boyfriend and others near to me, and each one possesses such a strikingly different energy to it.

I intend to keep working on portraits throughout the following weeks, it is actually all practice for a commissioned project in watercolours that's coming up. There is spilled paintwater everywhere, and I couldn't be happier. 

Be well,


  1. Dabbling in faces and expressions a bit! Thanks for all your lovely words.