Friday, 11 September 2015

Face inspired by Shirley Mason

Hello lovelies, welcome to Art it Friday created by the lovely Kim Dellow. We draw paint scribble any kind of face and then link up to her site. All info can be found here.

Last month if we wanted to, we could be inspired by our fellow artist who link each week on Kim's Site. As a community we will choose a way forward, but for this week I have chosen an artists that inspire me. I have chosen Shirley Mason. She isn't very well known for her art, as many people know her as Sybil. Her art isn't faces so I chose a background to inspire me.

Sybil was the name given her by Flora Schreiber who in collaboration with Dr Wilbur wrote Shirley's story. If any of you have read Sybil, you would know what a truly courageous woman Shirley was. Her first 20 odd years were full of emotion physical and sexual abuse perpetrated my her own mother. Shirley brain in an attempt to protect her from the abuse split off into many different personalities, 16 in fact. I was drawn to the book during my psychotherapy training from a practitioners point of view. Dr Wilbour was Shirly's psychiatrist and worked with her for many years to help integrate her personality into one whole person.

Shirley's story was made into a film where Sally Fields played the leading role. However, the life after therapy isn't so well known, which is why I have chosen her to be my inspiration. Shirley went onto to finish her art degree and taught Art For many years until her retirement.

You can see some of her art here; some is in private collections of friends who protected her identity as Sybil for many years until her death in 1998.

So this is my little tribute to Shirley, a very talented artist in her own right. I chose to use one of her paintings for the background of my face, which its self is just a simple face!

I started by blocking in some colour in the background in a similar way to how I perceived she did. I have very limited supplies with here in Turkey so mainly relied on my Neo II crayons.

Next I darken my colours slightly and add more to my background.
And the complete picture

I hope you have been inspired by this post to get out your own creative materials and play along.
Take care for now. big hugs Debs xxx



  1. This is great, loved seeing how the darkened colours and finished background created so much depth to the face. Love the colours too. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

  2. As a 'newbie' I love seeing your process. Thanks for sharing.

  3. By the third picture...she comes alive and jumps off the page. Nice. Hugs.

  4. she really came into her own colors-gorgeous!

  5. Ah, I remember seeing the film 'Sybil' many years ago. It was very harrowing. What a survivor! I love your portrait and how those rays of colour resonate. xx

  6. Fabulous Debs, I love how you used this amazing story and your inspiration. I'm thinking this is a good idea for a theme for Show Your Face - say being inspired by someone's life story, what do you think? Thanks for linking up to Show Your Face again and for another fab shout out too. Kx

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Kim and I think it would be great to use life stories as inspiration. Do you think it would be useful to set up a FB group for us all to discuss topics etc xx


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Hugs Debs xxx

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