As a change of subject, I’ve been doing a few self-portraits lately, using photos I took last year. I used to do a lot of these, but not usually from photos. I probably focus more on the grisly details than I would with a mirror, though I never have been one for self-flattery, whatever I do. The middle picture shows the errors of ignorance that always creep into my work (the eyes don’t track), but I am hoping that with practice, and maybe a class down the line, I can train myself out of them.
A self-portrait sketch from my first year in grad school. I found that drawing gave me a much needed stress break from my studies, and from time to time, offered up some insights.
You know that experience when you repeat a word till it sounds like gibberish and you truly lose the sense that the syllables have meaning to you? Ever done it with a mirror? Now that’s a trip, brotha, that takes you to a whole ‘nother place. This drawing was from such a moment.
In honor of my recent birthday, I’m going to look back at a few examples from 33 years of self-portraits. Aside from a few weak, teenage attempts, I really started doing self-portraits after I graduated high school. I did a lot of these portraits then; I was a model I could count on, one who wouldn’t be hurt if it didn’t turn out well or if the drawing wasn’t flattering. And I could be as weird as I liked. I’m due for another one soon; I’ve been feeling it for a while now. We’ll see what turns up–you never know…