Old faces show lots of character - traces of life are written in the lines. If someone has smiled all their life you see the little twinkles and lines formed from the facial muscles. Part of my old job was reading the expressions and body language of the children we took care of. To me it's like a puzzle but more interesting. Maybe it's why I took so many semesters of life drawing so long ago. The human condition is fascinating.
Another of the things that fascinated me while I was working was the symbols (tattoos) that the kids bore. Symbols are incredible and we use them every day. Who doesn't understand the universal hand-shake, or a wave, how about the man/woman bathroom symbol? Think about it for a moment and you find you deal with them continually. You have to be able to read and understand the symbols to move about yoiur everyday life. The kids wore gang signs, name tags, histories, and such on their skin. It gave me many conversations as they explained the meanings and symbolism and it also took me to one of my favorite books, African Adorned as we delved into African ancestory and tattoos of a cultural nature.
Historical costuming is fun. Each country seems to have something that symbolizes their culture. Maybe it's why I enjoy the magazine Art Dolls, all the creativity and symbolism. From Art Dolls I happened upon the extraordinary doll maker, Christopher Malone. His dolls are so rich in symbolism you can't help but love them. And as one spark begets another I've interpreted one of Malone's doll faces into one of my own. I'm hoping to expand on the idea and create a felted hat and stand. It will never be a Malone - but the spark of the idea was inspired by him and my well loved book.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the page of my sketchbook and the bead head. When will this be finished? - who knows - it often takes me a while to gather the components. I never rush and could use a good boot in the fanny or a maybe a lion chasing me once in awhile.