Sunday, May 23, 2010

Self-portrait exploration

pencil on paper

The self portrait is an exercise that so many artists seem to undertake and much as has been written about the self-portrait. It is said of good portraits that they speak about the sitter in some way. I read recently that there is a bond between artist and his subject yet in many instances they have only just met and at best the artist will only know the person superficially. Yet with the self-portrait, the artist is depicting the one person that he/she knows above all others.

I seem to have spent an excessive amount of time staring at myself in the mirror over the last week. There have been moments when I have been reduced to giggles over features that have been the subject of family legend to moments of wondering whether it would be possible to have other parts of my face surgically altered. Mainly this has been no more than an exercise in drawing from life. Not perfect - more practice required!

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best. Frida Kahlo


Robyn said...

Looking great, Anita. Your expressing draws me in even though I know you're looking at yourself.

The only time I tried this I had very good reason to laugh. When I stepped back I saw I had sketched myself as a twenty year old. Two more sketches, I gradually got a bit older but never hit reality.

Looking forward to more of these self-portraits.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful drawing Anita. Not sure what perfection is to you, but I hope you don't achieve it. I like the imperfect better. It tells a better story. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add that James Gurney is doing a nice tutorial about lighting on his blog:

Anita said...

Robyn - both my husband and my daughter said that they thought I had aged myself by at least 20 years. Funnily enough, I think this is the way I look. Hmmmmm, wonder what that says!

Robin - thanks for the link. I only mean perfection in terms of getting the proportions and likeness. Its strange how you find you almost don't recognise yourself if you look at yourself long enough!

Mary said...

Wonderful Anita, I have always thought you have a great talent for portraits.

Billie Crain said...

I should've commented sooner. Nice job with the self portrait.:) I did one....just one. That was quite enough for me.

Sadami said...

Dear Anita,
Your work is so fascinating for me. Brilliant drawing skills and moody. Quotes are also very interesting. Please keep up!
Kind regards, Sadami
Just last week, me,too, made a self-portait in watercolour.

Anita said...

Mary - thank you!

Billie - not sure self-portraits are my thing either.

Sadami - thank you!

all artwork is copyright of Anita Murphy 2006/2007/2008/2009