The Masked Portraits


Monotype, intaglio on paper with temporary collage

Click on thumbnails below to feature image – Click on enlargement icon for title.

About the same time that we all began to shelter in place, I created 3 small (6”x 6”) portrait drawings of my favorite college professors for a fundraiser. While working from photographs I felt a very satisfying spiritual connection spending time with each of them. I also thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity of the drawing process. Over the next few weeks as it became clear that sheltering was going to last a while, I simultaneously found myself missing the connection to my closest colleagues, friends, and family. This opened the door to a portrait series. But there needed to be a twist.
Comments about Covid-19 and sheltering had been abundant in letters to the editor in our local newspaper. In one letter, the writer commended Santa Feans for their adherence to mask wearing but she also lamented missing the hidden smiles behind them. This brought me to the idea of creating masks that pictured these smiles.
Once a portrait drawing was completed it was photographed to make a 16” x 12” photopolymer printmaking plate. For each tinted impression printed onto paper, a second impression was printed onto white fabric. These 2D fabric prints were then cut out and fashioned into masks that fit perfectly over the portraits. Since the masks are attached by just a few stitches they are easily removed.
Three “mentors” portraits; Mirko, Jack and Robert are 11” x 11.” All other portraits are 16” x 12.”

10 in stock