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  • Writer's pictureCarol Wiebe

Annus Mirabilis

Last night I watched a program about Einstein and his development of ideas that led up to E = mc2. His whole life, Einstein was fascinated with light ~ and NPR has a short article about Albert Einstein’s Year of Miracles: Light Theory .

His radical insight into the nature of light would help transform Einstein from an unknown patent clerk to the genius at the center of 20th-century physics.

Scientists call 1905 Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis — his year of miracles. Within a few months, Einstein wrote a series of papers that would transform the way we see the universe. They included his theory of special relativity and the famous equation E=mc².

While watching, I gave myself a little challenge: could I do my Wiebe-way applique technique on something as thin as a magazine page ? It was not one of the highest quality, thicker paged magazines, either. I was able to do it without tearing, and can now adhere it to one of my journal pages. I’d rather draw my own, or at least use my own photos of faces, but this is a useful technique. Once I glue it in place and paint it, it will be difficult to recognize from the original.

Stitched magazine face

As I stitched, I noted that how we see the face is so much about the way light plays on all its various parts. The face is a complex mix of bones, muscles, skin, and all the various expressions that flit across it at any given moment. The eyes are capable of expressing a tremendous range of emotions, as are the lips, even if the rest of the face is relatively immobile. But when you put everything together, along with the fact that every face and each constituent part comes in an endless array of shapes and sizes, it is no wonder that we are continually fascinated by faces.

Then, out of the blue, I decided 2011 will be my Annus Mirabilis. Can you guess what kind of expression my face held when that thought dropped into my consciousness?

Some resources for drawing faces:

Face Drawing: an online resource about face drawing including links to lessons, tips about shading and other aspects of drawing a face (Squidoo). Drawing eyes: “probably the most important and interesting part of the human face.” Face Drawing Basics: Freelance illustrator Anna Greene-Smith offers this tutorial, beginning with facial bone structure. How to Draw the Human Face: A number of tutorials. How to draw face and head, shading and rendering portrait woman illustration: This guy, Xia Taptara, is amazing. Progression of a face, part 1: Crystal C. Brown”s work is fun to watch, even if she doesn’t show the actual rendering of the face, just the progressive stages. The idea of first shading in what looks right, then refining it, is very helpful.
Progression of a face, part 2
How to draw a face:  Stephanie Valentin shows us how to draw a face in a few steps (some are decidedly vague, such as “draw the hair.”). She also provides a video, How to draw a human face: this artist has the face all mapped out. There are many more!!!

I already have the face glued into my journal ~ when it’s painted, I’ll snap another pic to show you how it turned out.

#annusmirabilis #Wiebeway #journal #yearofmiracles #artjournal #stitch #drawingfaces #AlbertEinstein #CarolWiebeapplique #Emc

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