Faces: Artist's Statement

I am interested in making the unseen seen.

The surface is light and color, but informing it is the darkness, the mystery. I search for the spirit, the essence in a face that mirrors the privacy of a life, or in a leaf, fallen from a tree and turned crimson, lying unseen and forgotten.

When I paint a portrait, the inside of me connects to the inside of the person I am drawing. I do not know how that happens.

I see the face as a pattern of colors. The challenge is to find the line that defines, the splotches of color that, next to each other, blend in the eye and in the mind to create a whole that is recognizable but is far beyond an exact reproduction, that hints, that suggests, that offers possibilities, an insight into more the emotions, the soul.

The process is fresh, immediate, direct.

I have always wanted to hold on to time. To capture the essence of a person is to go beyond the moment.

For me, the thrill is to reach a moment of truth, when the person I am painting looks out at me from the paper or canvas and his or her eyes connect with me. I feel their spirit, their inner core. And when that happens, I am incredulous, it seems to be by a great mystery.

Karen

Collidge