WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties
.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask
.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask
! Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Wearing the Mask read by Maya Angelou is a combination of her poem with Dunbar’s…he wrote his poem in the 19th century but it stil applies today….click the title…

I was inspired to paint this portrait after reading another poem about wearing a mask…I think we all do this to a certain extent…sometimes it’s to protect others, sometimes to protect ourselves…
I leave it to you to figure out what this particular mask is all about and why it’s worn…is it literally there (parts are worn off), or is it an imagined mask…. is it just covering the face or more than that, and who is wearing it and why
?

Watercolour on Indian Paper….

I paint in many different styles and feature a myriad of subject matter, which I show as individual collections….
I am inspired by the world interpreting it in brilliant colours, often influenced by the writings of famous authors and poets..
© All rights reserved. All images contained on these pages are © copyright protected by Janis Zroback and any use of these images in any form without her written permission will be considered an infringement of these copyrights.

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Comments

  • Robin Webster
    Robin Websterover 2 years ago

    What a fabulous series Janis! Brilliant work!

  • Thank you so much Robin…lovely of you to say so…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Richie Dean
    Richie Deanover 2 years ago

    I can see a definite improvement in your portraiture Janis … I hope you dont mind me saying that …. your eye is getting keener … superb … :))

  • I generally do mind when people tell me I’m improving mostly because I disagree…I have portraits from four years ago that I consider to be some of my best work and over the years because of different situations in my life, the work has fluctuated…be that as it may I totally understand where you’re coming from and I do agree that my eye definitely is getting keener…it had better be or else all the practice has been fo nought.. :))
    Thanks so much Richie…I really appreciate it…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanover 2 years ago

    compelling work and write up Janis…frosty and warm tones with the turn of her head conveys the mask perfectly…

  • Thanks so much Linda…very nice of you…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...over 2 years ago

    Deep….mystery……these ladies…..created with your flair and wit….

  • Yes indeed…thanks so much KJ…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • evon ski
    evon skiover 2 years ago

    crazy color scheme . . that ROCKS!!! background coolor really sets it off. wonderful expressive peice and love how you handled the hair.

  • Thank you so much Yconca…lovely of you to say so…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorover 2 years ago

    WILL TRY AGAIN TO SEND THIS COMMENT .LOVE THIS WORK .WE ALL WEAR MASKS AT TIMES TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND WHEN WE RISK REMOVING THEM WE BECOME VULNERABLE TO OTHERS. .LOVE THIS SERIES OF WOMEN.WATCHED MAYA I SO LOVE HER NARATIONS OF POETRY SO MUCH. GREAT SERIES OF GOLDEN WOMEN lIZ

  • Thanks so much Liz….I am really happy you watched the video too…she is wonderful….the feed is really slow tonight.

    – © Janis Zroback

  • FDugourdCaput
    FDugourdCaputover 2 years ago

    I am impressed by your great work and your inspiration. you are very talented
    Franca

  • Lovely of you to say so Franca…thank you so much….

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonover 2 years ago

    Lovely words to go with a stunning painting. Great series Janis.

  • Thank you so much Lynda….I really appreciate it…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Mary Sedici
    Mary Sediciover 2 years ago


    March 14th, 2012
    SEE YOUR WORK IN THE PERMANENT FEATURED ART GALLERY
    SEE ONGOING CHALLENGES
    Your participation with works/votes it is greatly appreciated
    Mary

  • Thank you so much Mary…I really appreciate it…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • deborah zaragoza
    deborah zaragozaover 2 years ago


    Excellent Image! 03/14/2012
    PLEASE participate in this features Forum. CLICK HERE
    Please Enter our New Challenge: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Click here

  • Thank you so much Deborah…very good of you..

    – © Janis Zroback

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