Sunday, April 19, 2009

Abstracting Myself



A few years ago I decided to teach myself to oil paint. Since I was home alone, I decided to start with myself as the subject, and looked at myself in the mirror to try and get the features right. What emerged was not particularly flattering, nor an exact likeness...but then, I was working through some pretty severe panic disorder at the time, and couldn't sleep...had dark circles under my eyes and green streaks in my hair from swimming to try and get tired so that I could sleep...and I wasn't trying to make it pretty. Later I scanned the painting and played with it in a number of ways to make different portraits on paper and fabric.

Here is the original painting, and then a piece that was abstracted from it. If you scroll through my blog, you will see some other work that used the oil self-portrait as a starting point.

5 comments:

sonja said...

i really love the green hair!!!Sonja

Suzan Morgan said...

Hi there Linda! I just wanted to say how much I like your self-portraits! You inspire me to try my hand at it! Maybe some day when I'm feeling brave! Suzan

needlewings said...

I have yet to do my portrait. I know it would be pretty scary! lol

Edzellinni said...

You don't have to be brave to do a self-portrait. Just take a photo, size it the way you like (these are postcard size, 4"x6", but I often do 8.5"x11") and output it from your printer on some good quality printable cotton (like Avery) or some good watercolor paper. After it comes out of the printer, just paint over the photo. If the cloth is too thin, it will bleed, so I recommend good quality printable cotton or Coquille watercolor paper. I like to use watersoluble oil pastels, or craypas, or textile markers. I spray it occasionally with fixative to save the parts I like, or paint over the parts I do't like. You can sew stuff over it, glue over it, add beads and go crazy with it. But leave your fear behind! And if it is bad, toss it out. No one will know but you. Or cut it up and use the parts you do like on another piece.

Edzellinni said...

oops, I goofed. The accordion folding portraits are the ones I was writing about. These pieces are bigger, the oil about 10x14 and the abstraction 8.5x11. I really, really recommend Cate Prato's book on Mixed Media Self Portraits. Several artists give step by step directions on doing a self portrait. Plus, I have 8 pieces in the book...

My husband and daughter both hate the oil portrait because I look sick and ugly in it, but it was therapeutic to do...and I WAS sick at the time so I painted myself the way I saw myself. Fortunately I am well now. :-))