Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Painted Silhouette

This Collage reminds me of time I spent with my boyfriend on Hornby Island, British Columbia, in 1996. I married him :)

I was daydreaming at my desk, as I often do, with my thoughts flowing toward my artsy side of the brain. I was thinking about a conversation I had with a person at the Seaport market last Sunday who was drawn toward my booth. She told me she loved my work and then asked me if I do portrait commissions. I'm not a portrait artist, but I went on to explain that I do love to paint people and I feel that someone's natural posture and body shape can speak volumes.

This painting epitomizes my hopes and dreams. I look at it every day to remind myself of my goals. With a smile on my face and peace in my heart I believe these dreams are coming true.

I've painted a few commissions of people and they are always amazed that, although there is very little detail if any in their face, they can identify with the silhouettes because they look just like them. My mom also pointed out to me when I first started painting people that she could see me in all of them. I realized I was painting my self! Recently I sold a little painting to a man who couldn't get over how much the silhouette looked just like his son.

When my mom and dad first saw this painting, they were able to remember their youth and were overwhelmed with nostalgia. To know my parents felt what I hoped someone would, makes this painting that much more special to me.

These are the reasons why I love to paint the 'idea' of a figure rather than the facial features. People can identify with a silhouette, can see themselves or someone close to them in my paintings and feel an emotional connection instantly. It might stir a memory, or relate to a life-long dream they have yet to realize. In addition to supporting my favorite artists, these are the reasons why I collect art.

So back to what ispired me to write this article... I was working at my desk and became aware that my mind was wandering off thinking about these conversations I had. I leaned back in my chair and gazed up at my little office walls, where I hung a few of my most special pieces of art. And then I suddenly realized that I've surrounded myself with prints and paintings that all have silhouettes! Until that moment I hadn't even realized that what draws me most into another artist's work is the ability to relate to it, to see myself in it somehow. This is the exact same reason why I paint figures, and why people can relate to my art.

Surfer by Zehava Power
This is one of my very first pieces of original art. I bought it from Zehava years at the MacDonald House at Lawrencetown Beach. It looks just like my husband! I had to have it.

A few weeks ago I had a different conversation at the market about my figures. A young man asked me to explain my art. It was such a vague question so I asked him if there was anything specific he wanted me to share. It turned out he was much more interested in knowing why none of my figures have faces and why several are facing away from the viewer. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. The scrutinizing look in his face indicated he must have been a psych student looking for a deep, dark answer to his question. I smiled and explained why I love painting silhouettes. Aparently it was not the answer he was hoping for, quickly lost interest, and walked away. Needless to say, I'm very grateful my outlook on life is colourful and positive! While I can't relate to everyone I meet, I hope that everyone who meets me and experiences my art in person can walk away with a smile.

1 comment:

  1. you are a very Special writer, as well as a painter. You do make people smile, and walk away with a little extra 'happy' in their day!


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