So all those mouse mats you have been sending me are slowly turning into my Internet Icons. Currently 20 are almost completed, with another 10 under way.
I thought you might like to see some of the Icons as they progress towards being finished.
A selection of my Internet Icons painted on mouse mats from photos supplied through my Internet connections.
The variety of faces is only achievable because you have all been sending me your photographs to work from. If I drew them from my imagination, they would bee too similar. Real life is much weirder than you imagine! Have you ever drawn an imaginary fish? Well nothing you can draw will be quite as weird and wonderful as the variety of fish in the sea. The same with faces, but even more so.
If you can recognise yourself from these stylised images, you are doing well. I was not setting out to make a likeness, but I did want to capture something of the person, albeit in bright technicolour.
My process for stylising your faces was to trace over the key elements of the face, then simplify and exaggerate certain elements. Sometimes I had a vague colour guide from the photos or because I know the person, but again, this was just a starting point for playing with colour. Original religious icons were depicted on wood in bright colours with gold leaf. The mouse mats represent the wood, but also are a contemporary surface to work with that directly relates to my concept for the project, and also, they are of course, similar shapes to the icons you have on your phone.
Here are a few Icons with their inspiration photo beside them.
And some others to check out.
Ultimately I will have more than 30 of them which I hope will be accepted for our Nolitex exhibition called I Exist In Two Places – here and where you are (Margaret Attwood quote). It opens on 22nd July at The Steel Rooms in Brigg, Lincolnshire. You can meet the artists at our reception on Saturday 29th July 12 – 3pm. The Steel Rooms has a wonderful cafe and shop, so makes a great destination for some good food and a bit of retail therapy as well as seeing the exhibition. If you want to make a day of it, then the Ropewalk Gallery at Barton on Humber is not too far away.
If you would like to spend a day learning how to create your own stylised faces, then I am running a workshop at the gallery on Saturday 5th August. You will need to contact the Steel Rooms to actually book.