Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Currently on the Easel: "At Work (Self-Portrait)"

When models are hard to come by, there is always someone to fall back on: oneself. Rembrandt did over 40 self-portraits in his lifetime, and modern master David Leffel, who has also done numerous self-portraits, says in his latest book (Self-Portraits: A Visual Journey of Insight), that "Self-portraits are painted for a variety of reasons: the model is inexpensive with infinite time to pose; one can record the history of one's own life; and the use of the same model allows for endless study and experimentation."

I try to do a new self-portrait every year, each time with a different feeling, purpose, and sometimes, medium. Past portraits were done in colored pencil, such as this one (my first self-portrait, at the age of 13. I used a mirror)...

Anna Rose Self-Portrat Age 13

...or graphite (2005)...

Anna Rose Self-Portrait in College

...or in oil, but in some cases I wanted to paint myself with the man I love...

Quiet Kiss

The Happiest Day

...A self-portrait from when I was a newlywed. I think this one is very expressive, but is also a little bit provocative...

New Day: Self-Portrait at 23

My current portrait is small and unimposing. It may not even be considered a "portrait," as my face isn't showing - yet there is something special about this image that I like more than all other self-portraits I've ever done. The viewer sees only the artist at work, as if you could walk up from behind and stare over her shoulder at the easel in front of her. It isn't finished yet - I intend to add some paint brushes in the bottom right-hand corner, as well as finish and refine the hair, shirt, and background. I think I'll also slather some more paint on that palette, just for fun!

I've never been one to pursue the spotlight, and I'd rather be painting than doing anything else...so perhaps this portrait is truer to myself than most of the self-portraits from my past. I certainly haven't shown you them all...

I'll post a pic of the finished product soon.

At Work (Self-Portrait) - unfinished

At Work (detail)


1 comment:

  1. I love it Anna, it is beautiful. Can't wait to see it finished.


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