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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm doing this...


before I change my mind. I thought I might share with you my journey through self portraiture. I spent a year doing a self portrait a day, several years ago, and for reasons which I won't bore you with today, I decided to take that discipline up again. This is the first of what I think will be many; this one took two days, and there's still something wrong with the right eye.... come to think of it, the face is too long, the nose is dreadful (my noses always are...what is it with noses???), and there are other things wrong with it. But it is A Start. And it is a start that I've been putting off for a long time. Why? Oh, all the usual things. It's Not What I Usually Do, for a start. I'm Not Good At It, for another. It's Hard. It's time consuming. It's hard. Did I say it was hard??? And that I'm not good at it? You get my drift.

I've come to the conclusion that these are Not Good Reasons for failing to do something I enjoy. It's the first time I've used pastels, too, come to think of it, and that might be oil avoidance, but there again, I'm keeping a sketchbook, and it is all in pastel, too. I rather like pastel. It is such a direct medium. Especially when you lean too hard on a small bit and it crumbles into dust...sigh...

Above all, though, I'm doing this in order to put my money where my mouth is. I spend a lot of time encouraging others, especially beginners, to do the work, to show the work to people they trust, to do more work, and so on... I know how hard that is; I was a beginner once myself. And here I am again, at the beginning of a new learning process. 'Cept I'm showing this rather poor drawing to anyone who's daft enough to look at it. Gulp. So if I can do that, so can you, Ms Beginner. It'll be okay. I promise. Now to publish this before I change my mind... gulp...

4 comments:

sion said...

noses are a pain. Our life drawing teacher used to tell us to draw what we SEE, not what we know, because everybody occasionally had trouble getting foreshortening on a limb right or somesuch. I think portraits offer the same sort of challenges - I get caught up in "knowing" (there are two nostrils, it sticks up out of the face like Uluru in the desert, etc) and unconciously change my perspective juuuust a little (or w self portraits, angle my head) so I can *see* those pesky nostrils I know are there, things like that. Drawing children can be hard too, I reckon because we "know" the scale & arrangement of adult features so well. Blah blah blah I'll stop waffling now heh.

Your eyes are downright compelling. I look forward to seeing more - you are going to keep posting them, right? I feel somewhat challenged to do something outside my own safe zone now.

Helen Howes said...

New things are more fun than old ones...

H

rach said...

I think doing a self portrait requires a huge amount of courage. I have and probably never will atempt it.

I think yours is beautiful.

Dianne said...

I too know your beautiful so the drawing doesn't do you justice..
Setching is hard enough but to do a self portrait is very hard, your a brave soul.. I couldn't do it..
Big hugs...