Thursday, June 28, 2007

Self Portrait Underneath

Oil on canvas, 16x20, Spring 2006

This is a self portrait underneath. What I mean to say is…when I started this painting, it was a self portrait. As it progressed, I disliked it more and more. So I ended up scraping it with my palette knife and thought while I was at it, I’d create a cool texture to work on top of for another painting. When I scraped it, I saw different shapes on the canvas that I thought would be fun to paint into. There was a head shape, and a strange stitch in the middle of the forehead. I could vaguely see eyes, a nose, and a mouth, but the features that I could make out were more fantastical in their placement on the head. And there was this neat light on the back of the neck and ears (initially what I was attracted to in painting the self portrait was the lighting behind my ears), and this funky collar shape. So here is the finish. This is what I ended up with. Some people have said it looks like a renaissance alien. Cool. And for some reason, everyone needs to tell me that it doesn’t look anything like me.

I found this definition of the word ‘alien’…
Alien - anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found.

As far as what’s underneath the surface of my skin, that definition seems more fitting for the initial painting of what my self portrait was turning out to be. I actually feel like this ‘renaissance alien’ is far closer to who I am than the painting I had scraped that was what most would call a ‘realistic’ rendition of me. Now I wish I had snapped a photo of it before I scraped it so that I could show the before and after, but at the time, that was the furthest from my mind.

1 comment:

nathalie said...

Thanks for writing about this painting - it really helps me to hear how it developed. While I appreciate this as a painting and even the image - it really bothers me and I have a hard time looking at it. I don't really know why exactly...