Figure artist Zoe Papas wants people to see the universality of the human form.
“When a viewer sees my drawing, I want them to also see themselves in it,” she says.
She draws inspiration from the Italian masters of the Renaissance and Baroque style – in particular the rawness of da Vinci’s sketches and the pristine imperfection of Caravaggio’s paintings. Her nudes, predominantly drawn with charcoal and chalk, sometimes with the addition of ink wash and watercolor, have a timeless quality. The subjects in her work, no matter their age, ethnicity or gender, often appear reflective, whether they are alone, interacting with nature or other people.
“I like to incorporate geometric and natural elements in my work that reveals something about the person’s internal thoughts,” she says.
Papas always begins with a life drawing, she says, poring through her sketch books to find a pose that resonates with whatever vision she has for her next artwork. Once she decides on the pose, she creates thumbnail sketches to plan the composition. She then scales up and transfers her initial drawing to heavy archival paper and goes back to the original life drawing, utilizing other photos and reference materials to create the finished work.
“There is nothing quite like the energy that comes from life drawing,” says Papas. “My artwork stems from a love of drawing the human form.”
In the past few years, the Clearwater-based artist participated in local outdoor art shows, and won awards at the Art Harvest, the Tarpon Springs Fine Art Festival and Mainsail. She also is a figure and portrait drawing instructor at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, and a 2019-2020 Creative Pinellas emerging artist grantee.
On October 2 she will participate in “Metamorphosis: Art for Hope and Healing,” the return of Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk. The theme seems to exemplify Papas’ work.
“Art has the potential to inspire hope in people, especially when the artist focuses on celebrating the beauty of creation. In my work, the ultimate goal is to highlight the beauty in the human person. I hope that seeing my artwork will be inspiring to others in these trying times.”
For more, go to zoepapasart.com.
Call to Artists
The GMC MErchants Chamber has extended their call to artists for the return of Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk on October 2. The new deadline to apply is Friday, September 18. The theme for October’s event is “Metamorphosis: Art for Hope and Healing.” All levels of artists are encouraged to apply. For details, go to visitgulfportflorida.com/first-friday-artwalk-entry.