"Self Portrait at 34"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
Here I am. I was motivated to paint this by the sale of my last self-portrait, which was painted ten months ago, and much has changed since then. One thing that hasn't changed is the fact - and I freely admit it - that I painted both from photographs.
I don't paint anything from photos....except commissions from afar, out of necessity - and self-portraits, also out of a strange necessity. You see, every time I've painted myself from mirrors in the past, I've been intensely frustrated by the sole response: "It doesn't look like you!" Well, no kidding! I'm a highly asymmetrical person, and what I see when I look in the mirror is (thankfully) not what you see when you look at me. As true to the reflection as I get, as good as my drawing skills become - if I'm looking in a mirror, my self-portrait will not ring true for you. I kind of like the fact that my self-concept is based on a reflected image that only I see, and it isn't the one I paint, it's only for me.
The worst criticism I've gotten regarding this painting - and it's been seen in my studio by several close friends now - is that I look sad.