Lucy Pass’ Miniature Eye Portraits Are Uncanny

They say the eyes are a window to the soul, but what if those eyes are painted on canvas? UK-based portrait artist Lucy Pass explores the uncanny ways in which a portrait can stare you back. Focused mainly on the eyes, her works feature little to no background; her subjects – detached.

Working in a range of styles, from loose pencil sketches to more tightly rendered oil paintings, her paintings are sometimes embellished with gold leaf that adds a religious air to the finished product. Such is a recent series of miniature paintings by Pass, focused entirely on eyes. Based on Georgian lover’s eye portraits, the miniature paintings are placed inside tiny golden boxes.

“If the intent of portraiture is to capture the subject in their truest sense, I am then a kind of anti-portrait maker, passing my own subconscious judgment on an unknown face and inviting the viewer to then do the same when faced with the finished piece,” Pass explains in her website.

“I have become fascinated by the range of responses to each face – what one person sees can be in complete contradiction to what the next sees. Sometimes these reactions can be clearly explained by the individual and other times it is something visceral that can’t be placed. The piece is then no longer about the face looking back at us, but about the feelings that it stirs and what those feelings say about us.”

We invite you to take a look.

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Here's my latest contribution to the We, Ourselves, Us project at CBPP – The founder himself, @goldsmith_ian! I've decided to name this one 'Ian's Coronation' …for obvious reasons. After quite enjoying the challenge of painting glasses a few weeks back, I asked Ian to send me a photo of him wearing his fashionable and reasonably priced new specs which I'd seen him showing off in his Instagram story. Always one to take the brief that extra step further, Ian's response was to send me a series of rather amusing selfies, with not one, but two pairs of glasses!! Challenge accepted!! In deliberating over which photo to choose, I spied something in the background – a paper crown he'd used on a painting called 'Ezra (King)' which is actually the first of Ian's paintings that caught my eye and led me to follow his work! And as you guys might have noticed, I've got a bit of a thing for crowns, especially the humble party hat variety! So I decided I would include the brown paper crown in my portrait of Ian, as a nod to his fantastic painting – I've included it at the end of these photos – you'll see why I was immediately smitten with his work! It was a bit of a battle to paint as there were a lot of components to plan around and I am by my own admission just plain lazy when it comes to anything other than skin or eyes! Overall though, it's been a really fun departure from my usual brand of moodiness! If you haven't already, go check out @goldsmith_ian's amazing work and also head over to @contemporary_brit_portrait for our latest arty happenings! Long live the king! #art #artistsoninstagram #artist #cbpp #contemporaryportraiture #crown #portraitartist #portrait #portraiture #painting #oiloncanvas #oilpainting #lucypassartist

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