Thursday, 15 May 2014

landscape-portrait / portrait-landscape

A personal project I've been revisiting on and off over recent years is a series of drawings using a kind of generic portrait form as the basis for landscape imagery. On reflection, a lot of my work as an illustrator has been a mingling of landscapes and portraits; The Red Tree for instance beginning as an idea of representing inner emotional states as vast outer landscapes, also true of Rules of Summer as a way of articulating childhood experience. These 'heads' are quite similar I think, but the other way around, impressing the landscape into a figure: probably not so much an original idea as part of a long tradition (related also to body adornment, tattoos and so on). The distinction between a landscape and a portrait in painting is perhaps relatively a recent one. Our ancient ancestors might not have seen the point in such a separation.

'Head with weather', pastel on paper, 40 x 60cm

'Head with cypress and path', pastel on paper, 40 x 60cm

'Head with goldseam', pastel on paper, 40 x 60cm

'Head with cave and tree', pastel on paper, 40 x 60cm


  1. very impressive,especially weather and tree.... EW

  2. Marvelous. This is after all, original & unique. Thanks.

  3. Your usual visual cocktail of beauty, eeriness and technique is flowing well here.

  4. The emptiness says so much. I love their simplicity combined with the beautiful details.

  5. I love the emotion variation using pastel based on simple black man shape.

  6. Thanks for your comments everyone, much appreciated. I only just noticed the common form is always black (in this and other versions I'll post later). With some pics this also helps make it unclear as to whether the head is facing 'toward' you or turning away.

    1. I think they would make interesting sculptures, especially the one with the cave and tree. The contrast of the smoothness with the fine detail of the tree.


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