Body of Work, Inspiration for Making Art, sketchbook

30 days, 30 faces

In my last blog post, “Going small: a wee little personal project,” I described a self-imposed challenge of populating a small blank book with faces. I committed to drawing 30 faces in 30 days. By then I had a week’s worth of sketches.

I had 23 faces to go. Twenty-three days in which I had to find just a few minutes to play. (Okay, I’ll admit, there were a couple days when I just plain forgot, so I doubled up the next. Commitment is commitment, you know.) And while drawing a face a day isn’t required to be functional in the world, I did come to see it as a form of self-care–care of my artist’s spirit, care and nurturing of my own imagination.

How will today’s face be different from yesterday’s? Will it be the set of the eyes, the texture of the hair, the turn of the lips, the skin color pale or dark, the tilt of the nose? Nature, nurture and life bestow their imprints on our faces in myriad ways. That uniqueness is the most obvious way we recognize one another, but we make little conscious note of it.

Since I used no reference for the sketches, I don’t consider them to be portraits at all. I’m an abstract and assemblage artist, not a portrait or figurative artist. Any resemblance to real persons is totally accidental and unintended. Except for one, which I’m sure you will notice as you flip through the images. Using colored pencils, a medium I hadn’t worked with in many years, was as enjoyable as I remembered. My colored pencils are ancient! Some colors are down to nubs, so I’ve rewarded myself with a new set. Here is the completed 30-day project.

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A few random conclusions:

  • Humanity abounds with infinite variety.
  • Filling up this little book with cohesive yet playful drawings proved quite satisfying.
  • Imagination is a valuable asset. To keep it alive, it’s essential to give it a workout.
  • I hope to be more intentional in my observation of the faces that touch my life.

After a break, I’ll give myself another 30-day assignment, something different from this one, but one that stimulates my imagination–and helps fill up that book in meaningful ways. I’ll let you know about it when the time comes.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted (except for that one I alluded to in the fourth paragraph) and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2018 Laura Hunt

 

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Body of Work, New Art

Going small: a wee little personal project

My sketchbooks are a mess. I don’t pick up the same one every time I need one. The scrawlings inside range from thoughtful drawings of vacation scenes to spare scratches that vaguely map out my next abstract painting, with doodles and pattern exercises in the mix. Utilitarian, yes. Cohesive, no.

Last week I came across this lovely little blank book that had been stashed on a studio shelf. It’s a 3.5-inch square book of 100% post-consumer waste paper, an artifact of my graphic design days, most likely a sample left by a paper company rep. For some reason, it called to me, launching a personal project totally unrelated to my paintings or assemblages. Just something to satisfy the soul at day’s end, and push different buttons than those triggered on a daily basis in the studio. The project? Fill this little book with something akin to a body of work, diminutive though it may be.

The first assignment I gave myself was to draw a different face every day for a month. So far, I have a week’s worth of faces. Some are caricature-ish, some more realistic, but so far, they are all products of my imagination. Maybe I’ll use reference photos later on. My aim is that, after 30 days, I’ll have a tiny sampling of the infinite variety seen in the faces of the human family. Wide lips, thin lips; round eyes, snake-like slits; hair curly, wavy and straight; double chins and graceful ones; soulful looks and piercing ones. Thirty diverse and divinely human faces.

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I’m using simple tools—colored pencils, an F drawing pencil, and a micro-point Uniball pen—all scattered on the end table next to me as I sit on the sofa with a lap desk for support. Oh, and a sharpener too. But nothing to interfere with this simple process. Ten, maybe 15 minutes and done.

I have no plan after the 30 days. Maybe continue doing faces. Maybe fill the whole book with faces. Possibly start a new theme. I don’t have a page count, but it is a thick little tome, and I do want every page to ring true to me, and to have a compelling, cohesive quality. For now, there are 23 faces waiting to come to life in this wee book. More to come.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2018 Laura Hunt

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