One day recently whilst I was working on one of my paintings, my son asked me why do some of the ladies that I paint have no faces i.e. no eyes, no nose and sometimes no mouth. The question threw me a bit as I’ve never thought too deeply about it. I must have said to him something along the lines of “Because they’re expressing themselves with their bodies”
It probably sounded a bit lame and I’m not sure if he understood but he nodded his head and eventually wandered off after watching me paint a bit more.
So naturally after his question I started to really explore why I do this. These are the answers I came up with which expand on what I told my son:
Whenever I try to add facial features to these particular types of paintings, it just doesn’t look right! The ideas that I draw on paper always seem to emerge with just the shape of the face, the hairstyle and body shape already in place. Every single time I try to draw in eyes and nose, it always looks weird so I just stopped doing it. Lips are a bit better as sometimes those add to the personality of the lady I’m drawing.
I remember an art teacher telling me once that I should never try to fit facial features into the outline of a face. She said that I should always draw the features first and then draw the face around them and it is actually a principle that I do apply when I’m drawing portraits.
‘Mother’s Pride’ Watercolour ACEO 2.5″ x 3.5″ © Stacey-Ann Cole 2012
The ideas I have for these paintings seem to always have a theme and the figure I draw is an expression of that theme. It really is mostly about expressing an emotion through the posture, the placement of an arm or leg and the tilt of the head. The body is saying something specific and there isn’t the need for facial features to express that same thing.
‘Dance & The World Dances With You’ Original Watercolour Painting 5.75″ x 8″, part of the Serenity, Joy Art Series
© Stacey-Ann Cole 2011
So it’s been a good exercise in delving a bit deeper into some of my art and figuring out why I do things in a certain way. It’s given me new understanding and hopefully I’ve enlightened anyone else who may have been wondering this about my work too!
Any other artists out there who draw figures without faces? Is there a particular reason? I’d love to hear your comments below!
Posted in ACEO, Art and Creativity, Art Series, Etsy, Illustration, My Creative Space, Watercolour Paintings
Tagged african american, african caribbean, afro, afro caribbean, artwork, creativesque, expression, expressive art, figures, illustration, painting, people, talking about art, woman
Last year, I received some great coaching from fellow business mum Tammy Furey. Tammy owns Furey Coaching which helps you to break free from the 9 – 5 rat race and create a freelance life that you love.
Tammy and I met through the marvellous WomenBizChat community on Twitter which is organised and run by Victoria Player, who helps women entrepreneurs attract more clients and design the business of their dreams. Each twitter chat session usually concentrates on a particular topic and on a certain day the topic of conversation was about the bartering of services and whether any of us had done it before or would want to. It was during this chat that I said that I would love to receive some business coaching in exchange for a piece of commissioned artwork. I didn’t really think anything would come of it, to be honest.
Soon after, Tammy contacted me to offer a bartering of services after having had a look around my website and liking my work. I was thrilled at her offer and at the same time, scared that I wouldn’t be able to create a piece of work that was equivalent in value to the coaching she was offering. Tammy put me at ease and we began our coaching sessions. She is a very gentle coach, but honest with a great sense of humour. She also has one of those essential skills for successful coaches and that is: active listening. She was so good that despite my frequent rambling on, she was able to pinpoint what my main issues were.
Tammy eased a lot of my apprehensions about the future of my business, gave me some great advice and some fabulous exercises to try, all of which helped me to clarify what I wanted and how to achieve my goals. I truly believe that my coaching sessions with Tammy were instrumental in getting me in the right mindset to accept an invitation to exhibit my art for the first time and also to get my first set of prints produced and available for sale.
During my coaching with Tammy, I asked her what sort of art she wanted me to create for her. She was very good at communicating her wishes and she told me that she wanted a woman working on her laptop surrounded by nature and looking happy and relaxed. She also expressed a desire to uplift and inspire others to recognize their potential and to realize the possibilities of becoming a freelancer. Other keywords emerged as we talked more such as ‘freedom’ and ‘success’.
So after sending her several progress shots, here is the final painting that I created for Tammy:
Overall my experience of bartering services was very rewarding and I feel lucky that Tammy and I had a good rapport and worked well together. Have you ever done a bartering of services? If so, how was it? If not, would you ever try? Let me know in the comments!
Posted in Art and Creativity, Business, Custom, Illustration, Ultimate Blogging Challenge, Watercolour Paintings
Tagged art, artwork, barter, barter of services, coaching, commissioned, creativesque, custom, exchange, illustration, painting, services, Ultimate Blogging Challenge, watercolor, watercolour