On the easel

June 28, 2010

I find the whole psychology of mask wearing fascinating.  Covering all or part of the face, not only has the potential to radically change the viewers perception of an individual, it has also been shown to influence the mood, perception and behaviours of the person wearing the mask.  There is an abundance of psychological theory and debate based around masks wearing on a metaphorical basis too.   As an artist with a keen interest in capturing  human nuances the concept of the mask offers a great deal of creative inspiration.

One of my recent paintings depicted a masked young lady.  The painting was deliberately dark and mysterious; there was intentional ambiguity to complement the theme of the mask.  I thought it would be interesting to develop this idea further – what will the viewer and the subject see and feel when the mask slips or is deliberately puched back?

Here is a work in it’s early stages with our masked girl revealed.  I’m seeking a strong contrast between this image and the first painting.

initial study on the easel - acrylic wash and mixed media



  1. Great picture and very interesting ideas about mask wearing. Many people take on roles which could perhaps bear relevance to the mask wearing. Sometimes I would wear a mask all the time – a bit like going out in a burkha to see the reaction. I am working on “duality” in personality and in the mind itself and wonder if this is relevant to your thoughts ?

  2. Thanks Lexia. The concept of duality certainly brings another interesting dynamic to the table. While I hadn’t specifically applied this term to my ideas it’s certainly relevant. Is this something you are looking at from a literary point of view or more from an interest in the underlying psychology?

    • Both really. And of course how this could be represented in visual art form
      (we went to an arts discussion/forum thing the other night and I understand that now we should say “Visual and plastic arts”. Plastic ? er …

  3. plastic arts? lol, that’s a new one on me.

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