Friday, 11 January 2008

The thinking behind my self portraits

A self portrait is a drawing or painting I do whilst looking at myself in the mirror . But some of them don't look like me, either because I got the proportions wrong, or because I was concentrating on emphasising something which distorts what I see in the mirror. The purpose of the self portraits I'm doing at the moment is not to create an accurate and life-like likeness of my face. Here's a photo of my face. But the photo isn't 'me' either; it's a recreation of the light which reflected off my face that particular day, influenced by the photographic and printing (or computer & VDU) facilities it's reproduced on. But it's still not 'me'. Come round and meet me, and look at my face, but when I'm dead you can look at my face, and it's won't be 'me'. I could be involved in a car crash, and have extensive plastic surgery, changing my face...... You get the idea.
Therefore, to say that a particular self portrait on paper or canvas is wrong because it doesn't look like me is meaningless.
Let me repeat myself - the self portraits I'm doing are drawings or paintings done whilst looking at myself in the mirror. The resulting drawing I do may bear little resemblence to my actual face, but ask yourself, does it matter?


Mam said...

Well if it really doesn't matter - paint yourself as stunning as you possibly can for the next one! H xx

Melanie Rimmer said...

I love your recent posts, Steph. I can see something of you in all the portraits you have done - different things in each one. And I love your observations about the process and purpose of portraiture. Keep it up, both the drawing and the writing.

Yellow said...

Nice idea, mam, but my imagination doesn't stretch that far, I'm sorry to say. The good thing about drawing myself is that I have no one to apologise too if the result isn't flattering. When I draw other people I'm often conscious of how they will react. Aargh, more things to think about.

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