Monthly Archives: July 2022

The Face Of My Art

There’s a thing in painting and drawing. Sometimes there are “artifacts” in the work, that were unintended. Sometimes we use color artifacts to create effects, but the thing that distresses me is that with the shapes that occur in art, sometimes they add up to something.

It was an ocean scene. Nothing but water and one rock. When it finally resolved at 6 ft distance from it, into a sea-like order, I was pleased. When I saw a face in it a few days later, I was NOT PLEASED!

A gargoylish face. Once seen, it could not be UNSEEN. My enjoyment of the painting was gone. It has not returned.

Waves and water are famous for forming faces. Rocks do sometimes too.

I don’t mind the wailing ghost in another wave scene of mine. It is fairly benevolent.

But when I created a moody and turbulent waterfall, and stood back from it, there was such a face in it that I could not tolerate it! A monster with a twisted scornful scowl. And it consumed so much of the painting that I could no longer love the waterfall that contained it.

I dragged it out again a few days later and inflicted my own torment upon the beast. I tugged and teased at the mouth, and shadowed the nose, and blotted one eye. My efforts were not in vain, the scowl turned to a quirky grin. (It also appears from a certain angle, to have a hellacious booger hauling out of one nostril.) Sigh.

It was a really nice painting! I promise you, it was! Until it was possessed by a demon who refuses to leave.

I’ve also discovered a second face in it. In the rocks. Gorignac lurks amidst the cliffs.

I’ve seen such things in the works of other artists. I’ve grieved as a painting I loved turned to a thing I could not bear to look at. And here am I, bullied into their ranks by a monster I cannot banish from my painting.

I’ve got a few more paintings lined up to complete. None of them have faces in them. I’ll be praying that my brush does not uwittingly invite them. They are not welcome there!

This is the Painting, it is called Cascada, and you can find it at:


UPDATE: I sat down that very evening, to study out another waterfall, painted by another artist. Right there, in the middle, sat Rip Van Winkle. Scowling and creepy looking. Above him, a space man with glowing eyes perched on a cliff. A Shrieking Eel wove its way up beneath the Spaceman, and Cat Man Do grinned from the opposite cliff. Einstein hid next to  Cat Man Do, and Mr. Squeers lurked above them all. Uncle Tolberg howled from one side of the painting, and Rostafario peered from under his dreadlocks on the other side. Lippy the Puppy sort of merges with Wilford Brimley, and Wallace’s Friend and the Wispy Ghost decorate other spots in the painting. Falkor, a Neanderthal, the Woolly Bear, Jabba’s Cousin, and various other visages make their way out of the cliff faces every time you stop to study any area. There are several that are not distinct enough, or not unique enough to deserve mention. Just when you think you’ve caught them all, there’s Sammy, with a large glossy eye, a short curled nose, thick lips, and a full black beard. I’ve never seen a painting with so many facial artifacts in it, and especially when they are so identifiable as something familiar to us.

This is the original painting:


This is my rendition:

KODAK Digital Still Camera


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