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Margo Sharp painting painter figure

From Behind – A Figure Series

One of the most valued skills an Artist can attain is the ability to render the human figure. We learn to look past a circle and five lines, and train our hands to create what the eye sees. An Artist can discover the power of implied line and how it can create a perfect, suggestive moment. We learn that the figure is more than line; it has mass, form and emotion that can be captured in the way a head tilts, shoulder shrugs or back arches. Most importantly, we learn that the unclothed human body is nothing to be ashamed of; it is extraordinary.

“From Behind,” is a collection of mixed media figure paintings, inspired by studies of the female back. All of the paintings are made by layering tar paper, joint compound and acrylic paint to create an abstracted interpretation of the female form. The application of these materials creates a three-dimensional relief style, that gives my paintings the impression of being carved from rock and earth. Texture becomes figure, accentuating hidden moments found in the curve of a spine, the implied line of an arm, and the illusion of hair blowing in the wind.

Why “From Behind”? There is something to be said about having someone turn there back on you. It can be considered a negative, or a positive. It could imply sex, loss, or betrayal. Each figure’s back is presented to the viewer, but their heads are also slightly turned, looking over their shoulder. There is mystery, sensuality, and curiosity in the positioning of their body. The figures are faceless, because they are simply women. They are without race, because they could be any woman. They are untitled because they have no name.