Sad faces…

June 29, 2010

Whether I intend to or not, a lot of my face drawings/paintings or the like, end up looking sad.  I’m not sure why, for often times, I am anything but sad whilst drawing.

When I was back in art school, I painted a series of faces.  They just came out of nowhere, so I painted them onto canvas.  I had a critique of this ‘assignment’ with my painting instructor, Papa Tutt, and I remember him looking at them, and then back at me, and then again back at the faces.

He said, “I know you and your family and where you are from, and you don’t have any reason to know this kind of sadness”.  I’m probably paraphrasing, yet his message was clear:  I didn’t have the right or the knowledge to paint of such sadness.

Well, he was wrong, and that’s ok.  I don’t see whatever sadness I have felt in my life as a “right”…just a fact.  I have experienced some, as many people have, and I know it when I see it and when I feel it…

In my mind’s eye, I see a row of women’s faces lined up, waiting to be drawn.  I’m not sure I know all of these women, nor do I believe they are all me.  I just feel a commitment in giving these images some space in this world.

Perhaps when I draw these women…be they sad or not…I am releasing that emotion from a locked place.  Perhaps I draw it out of the shadows and into the light.  Perhaps every time I draw a sad face, I lighten someone’s load by drawing the sadness out of their realm.  Maybe at times that person is me…

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