Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Whole Piece #62"

"Whole Piece #62"
5" by 7"
Oils on Panel
The Pout

While painting this small baby's lips, and thinking about their unaware owner I couldn't help but ponder where the idea of a pout stands. Has it ever struck you as odd that a "pout" is as easily associated with a baby, or a young sullen child, and a quite adult sexy woman? I thought it might just be me with this perception. So, I googled just the word pout and clicked on the images tab, and I found both small children and adult women and the further I scrolled the more adult women there were with lipsticked lips and alluring expressions. What at one time seems to have been a word associated with childhood (my Mom remembers a time when no one called a woman's lips a pout), and often cranky childhood at that, is now a facial expression women widely adopt to look sexier.

Is it just the fact that it makes woman's lips look bigger, or are we enjoying seeing an adult woman as much like a petulant helpless child? I'm not sure I've made up my mind as how these two meanings of the word came about, but I certainly want to pay attention to how they affect our perceptions.


This painting became focused on balance. Though there was a definite boldness to the way these lips sat there was a soft calmness that I wanted to convey as well. To portray the calm mood I kept the value shifts subtle. Though I wanted this to be quieter in my application of techniques I didn't want to miss out on portraying the cool colors that can be pushed a bit beyond what we can easily perceive and I still made sure the brushwork was varied in texture.


As I now have more paintings completed in the Whole Piece Series than ahead of me I am focusing on finding bits of faces I haven't portrayed or have yet to portray with a particular expression. I'm looking for the way the skin between eyebrows wrinkles, the skew of the outside corner of an eye, and any other peculiarity of angle or line. I'm carefully rounding out this series, so that the viewer has much to think about.

P.S. You can get involved in the Whole Piece Series too. Read about that here.

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Thanks for your interest in my art. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts. Cheers!