Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Lady Never Reveals Her Age...

"Self Portrait at 34"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
Sold

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.

7 comments:

Maria Bennett Hock said...

soulful is a word I would use…not sad. I love this one. A great reflection...

LindaHunt said...

I agree,....not sad....deeply contemplative....a fine portrait...love it.

Sea Dean said...

This so insightful. You've inspired me to try both ways and see what I get. I haven't painted a self portrait for 40 odd years so it's going to be scary. I've shared your blog with my GET YOUR ART OUT THERE Facebook group. Thanks.

Darin Scherer said...

I don't see sad. Determination with a touch of defiance.

angela j simpson said...

Beautiful painting - you seem focused on something to me, not sad. I love the soft muted colours.

sharon said...

Id say young and contemplative

a power said...

I totally relate to the reality of looking different in the mirror from what the world sees! Thank you for sharing that! It would make for two different portraits...I've been thinking of attempting a self-portrait...maybe I'll try it both ways just for fun:-)