Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Self-Portrait at 2a.m.

oil on gessoed panel 12 x 9"
Fifty nine years at 2 am is quite a sight! (Yeah, Sheila, that is the correct age but thank you!:-))
Considering the alternative, it wasn't so bad to greet myself in the first hours of my birthday to do my favorite thing. I get up and paint when I feel anxious or didn't get to paint as much I felt I needed to on a given day. It is a goal thing I guess, and with the years, realizing the value of quiet and the stillness of hours with none of life's interruptions is a blessing.
I have been meaning to get around to another self portrait for some time. The last serious attempt was in 2005. I did not expect that I would save this but as I worked, it became ever important to make it accurate, but retain the kind of spontaneity with stroke and color, which I have at my weekly portrait group. This however took far longer, almost 3 times as long over the past two days. It is half the size I usually use.
I spent my birthday, coincidentally, in Wash. DC at the Portrait Gallery in the New American Art Museum. I think it is my favorite of all our national museum gifts. There was a very interesting exhibit I enjoyed on famous artist self-portraits called Reflections/Refractions. I have to go again. All the artists concur about using themselves as models. We are the handiest, the least expensive, so why not? That is pretty much it. Back to the easel.
More on my visit, tomorrow.
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