When any exhibition finishes there is always a regrouping.
Often, as I decide where my painting will go next, I will paint self portraits. It only requires a mirror. That’s why so many artists do it.
It’s not vanity for me – looking at myself is not my favourite pastime!! But it is always a challenge, requiring a lot of concentration.
It’s a nice counter balance to my more gestured work as I have to become smaller and more subtle with colour and form.
Self portraits can convey the passage of time and state of mind of the sitter. Although I am not so sure about state of mind as you need to concentrate as you look in a mirror!
But Frida Kahlo used her self portrait to convey so much more.
Out of necessity she became her own subject and transformed self portrait painting. Both realistic and surreal you cannot fail to be moved by her work.
Two other painters that transformed the genre were Lucien Freud and Albrecht Durer.
I added a portrait of Emily Carr too. An accomplished Canadian landscape painter and writer, I like to think she painted hers as a counter balance to her amazing landscapes. (if you don’t know her she is worth a look!)
The original selflies! You can edit anything you want but I find the best portraits are warts and all.
Here they are below…not too difficult to guess who is who!!