Way back in June of 2011 I took the first tentative step in what would become the Obscured Face series.
Early in the year I had decided to get back into figurative work and I had (in my logical fashion) made a list of thing I liked to draw, which included Faces and Cloth. My first concept was to draw people who wore fabric near/around their face and to draw them as is - to include the fabric. As I did my stock image searches to find photos it occurred to me to draw the face on one layer of vellum and draw the fabric on a second layer below the face, so that the face was emphasized. I encountered one material problem - paper that is transparent enough to let you see through it is fragile (and I'm not nearly delicate enough to avoid half-destroying it every time) and also one aesthetic/philosophical question - if I'm de-emphasizing the fabric by making it a sub-layer why bother with it at all.
Taking the fabric out of the equation was a good decision; it led to greater philosophical/political meaning, sent me looking for other reasons people cover their face, and granted me an interesting series to work on in a variety of media while regaining/increasing my skills for representing people.
I was able to spend a portion of 2014 starting a set of Obscured Faces in oil paint, satisfying to work on, but also somewhat incompatible, time-intensity-wise, with my work schedule. As I finally finished some of them in 2015 I was ready to branch out into new work.
At this point I had been working on the series, almost exclusively, for four years, so I felt I need to prove that I could do other things.
I'll get to those other things I'm branching out to in the next post, but I've also been pleased to discover, after having started to dip my toe into other projects, that I'm still excited to make more Obscured Faces. So I'm taking a hiatus from Obscured Faces for most of 2016, but the series is definitely ongoing and you can expect news on it again in the future.