My interest in faces has been lifelong. It really is a wonder that I have not been arrested for staring at people’s faces … anybody’s face was fair game. In my opinion, there are limited sets of eyes, noses, mouths, jaw lines, etc. in the world. The factors that determine the differences in how people (of any race) look are things like position/placement on the face, size, shape of the head, color/texture of the skin. I know, it sounds crazy, but I have noticed the same features on people of completely different races. It’s fascinating!
As a child, I coupled my interest in faces with my interest in art and drawing….complete disaster! I could never draw the faces that looked ‘real’. I remember, at about 12 years old, sitting a neighborhood friend in the grass in my front lawn, and with pad and pencil in hand I was determined to recreate her face. Both she and I were completely surprised by how much the finished drawing DID NOT look like her. Haha!
I was disappointed, but not discouraged then, but over the next 5 years or so I slowly came to the conclusion that I didn’t have the talent/skill draw life-like faces. I satisfied my art interest by drawing undetermined things objects … I called it my abstract art. By my late 20’s to early 30’s, I had put down all art… stored it away in a big green rubbermaid tote and carried on with my life. I got my Masters in Education (taught public school for a while), became a Registered Polysomnographer (a Sleep Technician in layman’s terms), worked for a government contractor for a while as a Technical Writer, and now a software report writer.
Then it happened, in 2012, after a big surgery, a particularly rough and busy time in life, I remembered how much joy drawing gave me. I also remembered how awful I was at drawing realistic faces! But, nearing my 49th birthday I decided to give it one more try.
Almost a year later I happened upon a portrait class at a local Hobby Lobby store and decided to sign up. At my first lesson I brought some of the faces I’d attempted in my teens (yes, I still had them for some reason). My instructor agreed I had issues. Haha! She agreed they were ‘cartoonish’ but I had potential….and at least she knew what she was working with from the get go.
Some time during the two months I attended class, something clicked in my brain, it suddenly made sense, I could see what I needed to do. I discovered I had a talent that was dormant for years and had finally awakened. It was like God suddenly revealed to me a talent that he had placed in me when I was a child, and over the years it had matured…. thus, the journey of portrait drawing began.
Each drawing I have completed since then has amazed me more than anyone!
This whole new experience reminds me daily what my mother has always told me (her mother told her)… “You never know what the Lord has in store. He’s got treasures that have ‘never been bust open!” God surely had a hidden treasure for me.
I am so glad I didn’t give up! I am excited to see where God takes it all in the future.