These are sketches for a series of figurative pieces based on myth and Jungian archetypes. Using pencil, biro, and oil paint. I use lined paper a lot because I tend to just use whatever paper is nearest.
Research for the project centred on concepts of “ideal beauty” in figurative art, and looking at modern technology such as photoshopping and the Marquardt Mask which is used to create ideal beauty. I was also interested in the fact that “perfect” faces can appear very bland, so altering the proportions a little can introduce character to the faces.
In some cultures it is considered blasphemous to create figurative art, only God is allowed to create new beings. My own Catholic heritage was very big on figurative art, so I liked the idea of drawing a comparison between God the creator, and The Artist as creator. Giorgio Vasari (The Lives of The Artists) often described the great artists as somehow channeling divine power down to earth, or working under some divine inspiration or influence.
As a figurative painter, one sometimes paints from life or from photographs, but often one creates a face out of nothing. This is similar to many creation myths, where humans or other animals are fashioned from mundane substances such as clay, or simply called into being.
As Ra passed on his way each morning to visit the Upper and the Lower Lands of Egypt, he dribbled at the mouth and his spittle fell in the dust by the roadside. Isis gathered the moist clay so made and fashioned it into the likeness of a hooded snake; she set in it the fiery poison of midnight magic, and she hid it in the grass beside the way which Ra was accustomed to take.
Next day as he stepped out to view his kingdom the glorious light of Ra’s Eye fell upon the cobra that Isis had fashioned, and gave it life. The cobra reared its head out of the grass, bit Ra in the heel, and slipped away out of sight.