behind the mask/reflection


The Doctor, Wise Enough to Play the Fool; oil on canvas; 36  x 36 inches

behind the mask

"In 2009, I began a new series of portrait work titled Behind the Mask. Throughout my 20-year professional art career, my three-foot-square realistic portraits of young childrens' faces have become my most popular paintings. The larger than life, very direct compositions are the perfect format for a young child’s angelic face. I had previously not been inclined to paint adult faces so realistically on these large canvases until the idea of the masks surfaced. I have for many years been fascinated with masks, which go back to earliest recorded human history. My interest ranges from the amusement or concealment of Venetian style masks, to the historical masks of the theatre, different countries, and cultures.  Historically, masks have also been used as magical or cultural ceremonial rites of passage.  Sometimes masks have even been used to reveal the sacred. I am drawn to the juxtaposition of the illusion of the mask and the underlying reality of the face and eyes... illusion and reality, where they meet, how they interact.  Having the models help select their mask adds another depth of mystery to the veil, which is offset by the realistic, illuminated human eyes.”

Keith Bland


Luscious’ Reverse Evolution; oil on canvas; 36  x 36 inches


Francine Fishpaw Does Her Mardi Gras; oil on canvas; 36 x36 inches



a series of self portraits

oil on canvas

60  x 60 inches

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human figure