Sunday, April 29, 2012

Painting Faces

So, I am a bit obsessed with faces. For many reasons.The roundness or ovalness or almondness of one's eyes always excites me. The way one's lips sit naturally, the way the top lip rests ontop of the bottom lip is naturally beautiful no matter what the size/shape of the lip. My sketch books are full of hundreds of faces that i have drawn over the past few years, and I never get bored with playing around with shapes, sizes and dimensions to create new faces.

I am not a realist painter at ALL, and never hope or plan to be. It's just not me. But what I do love to do is to take inspiration from my photographs and create something new that speaks to me. This painting is a mixture of my inspiration from traditional religious Ethiopian artwork and a collection of photos that I took one afternoon while in Mudula, Ethiopia. There are also a few other faces from my other adventures and dreams. I am drawn to Ethiopia's religious art for it's graphic qualities, and the storytelling intrigues me. I would like to experiment with this at some point... Ethiopian angels are really beautful and again, their graphic quality is really appealing to me.

                                                              boy from Kololo

                                                                    girl from Mudula

girl from Mudula

When I was down in Mudula one afternoon, I decided to spend my time sketching some landscapes. But, within a few minutes, I was surrounded by a huge crowd of kids. I ended up spending most of the afternoon with these kids, and they allowed me to take pictures of them. They enjoyed seeing their image (thank god for my iphone),and at times "mugged for the camera". It was a lot of fun, and in the end, super inspiring. I ended up with well over 100 pictures of kids which blows me away. I also got to take a ton of pictures of kids in Kololo (where a school was being built). So, whenever I am needing a bit of inspiration or am feeling heartache and want to jump on a plane back to Ethiopia, I take out my photo albums and remember. And then I paint. And then I'm happy.