Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Hidden Smile...

My mother loves to "help" me with my artwork.  She freely offers suggestions for new works, changes she would make to existing works, praise for the things that she does genuinely love about them.  She is honest about her opinion, well most of the time.  (she has greatly disproved of some of my jewelry design choices, but tried to keep it from me, which didn't work by the way).  I like that my mom is honest with me, even though it does mean that we disagree often.  One of my dear mom's most consistent critiques is that none of my paintings are smiling.  "Why do they have to be so sad?" She always asks of me.  Cant you paint a happy person?

This always startles me when she says this, because when I see the figures I create, there is a smile on their faces.  Perhaps in a Mona Lisa sort of way, but they are happy, just complicated.  They are me.

My mom is a person who wears her emotions on her sleeve.  You can take one look at her and know immediately how she is feeling in that moment, angry, happy, sad, disappointed, excited, bored, etc....  She cant hide it, even when she tries.  So to her, a figure with a tight lip or a missing upturn in the mouth, is obviously sad.

But not to me...I hold me emotions tight within.  I think this is why I have always been drawn to art as an expression of my soul.  I am often misread by others as to how I am really feeling, because my face or body language may speak to something different than what is truly in my heart at that moment.

My paintings reflect that complex emotional response to life that I experience.  They are not sad.  They are deep, contemplative, full of soul.  You have to take some time and look deeper within each of them, just like with me, to really SEE who they are and what brings them joy. 

So to add to my growing community of complex figures, I just finished the second baby angel painting in the new style I've been experimenting with...  (BTW I made them little angels because my mother has also been asking me to start doing more children in my paintings, and sometimes I listen to her ;) -love you mom :)

I call her "Reflection of a Smile."  She was painted on a 5X5" wood box with an open back so it can be hung right on the wall or stood on a bookshelf.  I used some paper layers, acrylic paint, and charcoal pencil to make her.  She is available for sale in my NEW store that will just be for listing original works and Art Journals (all prints will still be available on Etsy, including prints of this little girl).
Alright, I am off to paint some more.  I have a large painting in process right now, using this new style, and I am really excited about where it is going, so stay tuned for that one.  LOVE inspiration waves!! Got to grab on when you can and just see where the ride takes you.  Have a blessed and creative day!!


  1. I am a painter of none smiley faces too :) occasionally I make them smile a little but not much, I am constantly being told that mine have sad eyes and mouths but to me I see them as happy or thoughtful.
    I love the colours in your latest painting and the hair is wonderful!!

    Micki x

  2. im loving that baby angel and really like the marks in her hair :) x

  3. Beautiful post. Your work always seems very expressive (smile or no smile) and I really admire that.


  4. wonderful description of the smiles you paint :)

  5. beautiful post! first time here and i love the way you express yourself. your painting are lovely! cant wait to read more!


Join the Conversation!