Thursday, March 09, 2006

Self Discovery

At some point in every artist's life a self portrait is considered or forced upon you.This is good and bad. For hundreds of years it has been a teaching tool and has been used by some of the most famous artists.

This is a self portrait done within the last few months. Other artists have drawn my portrait and no two are alike. This makes me wonder if I am biased in what I see or do others see something entirely different than I do? I only ever see myself in a mirror and then under controlled lighting. I never see the real me, not the one that others see. Which is the real image? It becomes an Escher-like question, going round and round, up and down without ever reaching a destination.

Self portraiture is self discovery in its truest form. You examine yourself minutely and put your regrets with your pleasures, hoping to place them all on paper or canvas and convey the real you.

A mirror or a reference photo, the right lighting, then choosing your medium are all fraught with worry. And that's even before you make a mark! You see things you never noticed previously in yourself and you think about everything and nothing as you create.

It is an amazing and somewhat unsettling process but highly recommended.

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