Tuesday, November 23, 2010
For the first, I found a photo in a 1970 National Geographic I happen to have of a Tibetan refugee. I did a very simplified sketch of her face and proceeded to fill in the spaces with my stained glass scraps. This is a very different style than my usual faces, less stylized, more emotional. I usually create faces that express a certain contentment, peace, and joy. This face expresses pain and loss. My goal was to do my first portrait based on a photograph, and to see if I could create contours without andamento. I'm pretty happy with it as a first attempt, but disappointed in myself for the inadvertent extended groutlines, particularly the one slashing her left cheek like a giant wound.
Next, I designed a face from imagination, more true to my usual style. Again, there is one particularly offensive groutline that seemed like a good idea at the time; that curved shape that runs from under her eye to the hairline. I don't know what I was thinking, but sometimes these mistakes become glaringly clear once the piece is grouted. Also, I wanted to add detail in the iris by cutting tiny little pieces of glass as rays from the pupil. It makes her look like a zombie instead. It might have worked in an ungrouted mosaic, but not here. I am tempted to paint the groutlines there to solidify the iris.
I am finding Elaine Goodman's book very helpful, but I feel that a hands-on workshop is really necessary. I hope to invest in one sometime this year. In the meantime, I'll actually read this book and keep practicing. I'm registered for a mural workshop with Josef Norris at IMA in February and I plan to begin facilitating community mosaic this Spring.