Process and Insight
While looking at this completed piece, a statement I had recently written for submission came to mind in which I noted that drawing faces revealed the social proclivity toward drawing people at a time you may feel most removed. Like Tom Hanks' character in Cast Away scribbling the face of his beloved Wilson, or in my case, like writing a memo to yourself to "remember what you love about people." I mean, staring at a photograph while trying to capture the 'essence' of someone in each curve of their face, or wrinkle in their cheek (character lines as my mom would say), generally brings to the forefront of your mind all of their positive qualities. It's kind of a great exercise if you think about it. Next time you're angry with someone, find a photo of them and try drawing it. You won't, you can't stay angry with them for long.
It can also work the other way around. When meeting a new person reminds you what you love about people and you just want to get that positivity plastered permanently on canvas. Maybe you'd like them less if you knew them better. Maybe you wouldn't. Your art doesn't necessarily care. In that moment, they're as great or as interesting as you think they are.
Faces evoke personality, quirks, “isms” that shed a little light on the relationship between the subject and the artist, whether it is a smirk that lends a mischievous nature to the subject, a lack of character that displays a less developed relationship, or the ability of a piece to emote despite a faceless subject. This to me is an interesting phenomena alone, and in that it is open to a different interpretation to each viewer. Pulling emotion from a faceless image seems a more intimate experience in some way by hinting at the intrinsic, human nature of how we relate to one another in the world around us. In some ways, your mind fills in the blanks with out giving your eye the complete picture. Though others may interpret those blanks as a lack of familiarity of the artist with the subject, or the viewer with the subject.
It's yours to decide what to do with!
Wishing everyone a happy 2015, full of new faces to make you smile and familiar ones that continue to bring you joy!