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Monday, September 21, 2015

Painting the Liberian Chimpanzees and Facial Recognition

The days are getting cooler and autumn is in the air. Bow is taking it easy. Whenever he naps, I take this opportunity to do somethings else. Today, it was a little more work on the painting of the Liberian chimpanzees.

As of right now, the painting looks like this:

I saw an article today that said there were natural reasons why people do not recognize other people outside their ethnic group very well.

I think it actually works even on the family level. People in a particular family filter out the traits they all have in common and notice only the differences. But people from outside the family will think relatives all tend to look the same,

 Nevertheless, when I look at the photo of the Liberian chimpanzees, I see individuals who all look very different from each other. I hope that comes through in my painting. They are all going through the same experience, but each is reacting to it in a completely different way, and each face is different.

I am not an accurate painter, but I do focus on the personality and the special features of my subjects. No two are the same. It's what I believe.


  1. I always detested when people said "they all look alike," because I have always been very good at telling people apart. I have very good facial recognition of others, but I am not the best at recalling names. Sure I can practice more, but I have always been able to pick people out of a crowd, so to speak. I like how your painting is going, by the way. The way the chimps are all holding on to each other is quite visually interesting.

    1. Thanks, Julia. I think there is a feeling of solidarity among the chimps, even as each is probably hoping for a choice morsel for himself.

      I think across different groups you can sometimes recognize a type that recurs, regardless of ethnicity: the athlete or the thinker, the leader or the loner, and I have seen this in different countries with different populations. Once you filter out the ethnic features that are shared, you notice the broader types. I think this must also be true among chimpanzees. But ultimately, they are individuals, each unique.