When I lived in Dubai I used to teach at the Dubai International Arts Centre which at that time was in a beautiful location by the beach. I came into teaching purely because artists on workshops I attended there were fascinated by my approach and requested I taught workshops and art courses. As I already had teaching qualifications I fell into the role quite easily and enjoyed sharing my passion for watercolours with so many wonderful people. As my techniques grew along with my knowledge for the medium so did my classes.In each class I could always be heard saying " I see a face" when I looked at first washes which to others could simply have been seen as mere " blobs" of colour.
When I demonstrated at Yew Trees in Hampshire earlier this week the same thing happened. I was sharing ideas for starting a painting and also looking at how pigment works with water. A small amount of two colours merged and as they dried I saw the impression of a very interesting face. Behind me the class thought the face looked like the Shroud of Turin. They too could see it.
When I returned to my studio I added colour gently to where I saw the face appearing and a few details that I knew would bring the study to life so that I could share it on my blog and here it is.
Face Appearing from a simple drop of colour demonstration.
I couldn't resist the urge to age the gentleman so added a small white beard and moustache last night. I was returing to my time in Dubai by doing so and many happy memories flooded back to me.
"Wisdom in Years"
Seeing what is in front of your eyes and acting on it led me to painting this face.
I love painting faces. I always have. My " Magic Faces" as they came to be known by in Dubai soon became collectible selling well in galleries and ending up in homes all over the world. I may continue with this face but he has inspired me to paint others. Maybe I needed a nudge in this direction as it is where my heart lies. I am listening to what my beloved medium is telling me.
Out of interest maybe you would like to see exactly where the face first appeared from a smudge of colour. I was demonstrating how to start painting daffodils and muscari on a large piece of white paper. He " fell" into the middle.
Mystery man appearing amongst a flower demonstration.
I have a lovely reputation that when I take a workshop you never know exactly what will happen or what will appear. Even if you think you are only going to see animals or flowers!
Taking advantage of what the medium throws our way rather than aiming to continually control it really is a wonderful way to work.
This way magic can and DOES happen.