Years ago I painted the painting above which is titled "Healing Spirit" as a gift for a friend. At the time whenever I painted a face, the eyes were always open. I enjoyed painting eyes, choosing the color, giving them light and roundness and a feeling of peace.
During one of my shows someone remarked that the open eyes in my paintings were startling, unnerving, a little unsettling. I began to hear this every so often. One day when I was painting a face with the eyes open, they started bothering me too. It felt like they were glaring at me, so I closed them with a few strokes of my paint brush. After that I only painted closed eyes. To me it felt just as peaceful, like a sort of sleep, but without the stare.
Recently I was asked why I paint all my faces with closed eyes, so I told the story of how it was mentioned to me years ago that some people were disturbed by seeing the open eyes. One of my friends said she preferred the open eyes. "Really?" I asked, in excitement. Sometimes we just need one person to understand and accept what it is that we do, so that we feel okay about doing it, not that artists do their art for anyone but themselves, although some do and that's all right. But I don't, and by closing the eyes, even though it felt right to me at the time, now it feels a bit like I was backing down from a stare, so to speak. That's not like me at all.
Now I'm painting open eyes again and it feels really good. Here's looking at ya. :)
Peace & Blessings,