anonyrrie: Work in Progress

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Work in Progress

Today I came across a fascinating post that accompanies Kelly's very striking self-portrait, in which she ponders the whole concept of photographic self-portraiture, wondering if it is "self-aggrandizing or self-expression." Although I am not going to summarize here what she wrote (because I think you should visit her inspiring blog and read her thoughts in her own words), I want to share my thoughts in response to what I read.

I have always drawn or painted self portraits. Sometimes I do it intentionally, as in the illustration I posted below. Yet even when the subject isn't meant to be me and doesn't really look like me, there's something in its aspect and demeanor that is clearly mine. I too had often wondered if this infusion of my "selfness" in so much of my art was a sign of egocentricity or simply a mode of personal exploration through visual expression. We are all egocentric creatures to a necessary degree, but I have come to the understanding that the ego-driven practice of drawing myself, intentionally and unintentionally, has been a way to get closer to myself, accept myself, and love myself for all the things that are revealed in the process of creating the image. Although it's about me, it's not much more than a reaching out for some kind of contact with things inside that I can't quite find the words to express. Ultimately, though, it is an image and an impression bound by its moment - ephemeral and open to so many interpretations, especially when viewed out of the context of its creation.

Above is a painting I have been working on for the past few days which is far from being finished. It's called Vernal Equinox, a personification of the Earth awaiting Spring. It isn't meant to be me, but...


Blogger andrea said...

I once had a life drawing instructor who accused me (or at least observed, with good humour) of drawing all the models in my own body image, so I get what you're saying. And I love your green hair! (too much chlorine at the pool? :)

10:49 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Yes...I was hoping to get that "suicide blonde" look, but alas I ended up with garden variety punk:>

10:56 PM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

You know what? People always draw themselves to some extent! I made this discovering when I was a teen and hanging with a group of Monash cartoonists. At out parting get together, I handed around a sketchpad and asked them each to draw something. Be they men, women, old, young, whatever, their characters all innately resembled them! And I think that's true of all art to some extent, but most of all when any one us draws people.

Lovely pic and bravely successful composition!

11:05 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

This is amazing to me simply because it is so different than your usual work. The green hair is wonderful! Since I only sketch bugs and leaves and cones and berries, etc., I am not qualified to comment on the self-portraiture topic...unless there is something of me in that beetle. Ha ha... Guess I won't go there :-)

11:31 PM  
Blogger Bearuh said...

pretty! I like how you did not position the face to be in the middle like most.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

I always thought of myself as a "blue" sort of person, but two Illos have really appealed to me this week....Artwork Anonymous' green tea party, and this one of yours....I love this green!

12:58 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I too found Kelly's posting thought provoking... but failed to express what I thought as well as you (you are good with words Carla!) ... to some extent any artist sees the world through their own eyes (even if they attempt to borrow them from someone else) and their own interests and skills.

I love the flow of the hair... and the composition... something is coming there is a quiet expectation and spring is in the air!

5:23 AM  

such a striking departure from your usual style. diggin the composition you chose.

5:38 AM  
Blogger creative kismet said...

Thanks for the link to Kelly's self portrait and post. Both of you really helped me to feel better or rather come to a realization that I should stop being so afraid of myself as an image or expression. I was taught it wrong to take too much interest in myself in a mirror, photo, words or anything and because of this have struggled with have my self portrait posted. I feel better about it now. Thank you for your very thought provoking and sincere take on this subject. I appreciate it!

10:10 AM  
Blogger creative kismet said...

oh, I love the painting as well! (is is a painting?) It is a different style that you usually do. I love the green with the contrast of the pink lips. I can't wait to see the finished piece!

10:13 AM  
Blogger mel said...

it's been years since i've done self-portrait... nice perspective and i love love love the color! (can you tell i love green ;)

7:51 PM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

First of all, the painting is truly beautiful....the facial expression, the lovely greens....I thought of Spring before I even read your entry. Regarding your entry, I understand what you mean....I don't do a lot of self-portraits, but doodle lots of female characters in my sketchbook, and there is always something of me in most of them - a facial expression, how I'm feeling at the moment....I agree also with this process of a way of getting to know oneself. All in all, I enjoy your "portraits" and how you shine through in all of them.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

This is beautiful Carla! It is funny that all of your women sort of look like you all also as so Misty's and many have said that mine do. Anyway, just beautiful! Brandi

12:50 PM  
Blogger isay said...

i was engrossed reading your post. it was nice knowing a little more about you and sharing it with us. i like what you have said.

you have made green looks so natural color for hair.

12:29 AM  
Blogger kelly rae said...

this so stunning. you have the coolest art!

11:43 PM  
Blogger Leezy said...

I think this is one of the most serene, and beautiful paintings I have seen in a long time. Makes me wanna get up ther with her and wiat, too. Lovely, simply lovely. You have been busy - are you ready for the show?

5:56 PM  
Blogger Joy Eliz said...

You are so sweet...I don't know how you keep up with everyone's IF and comments.
I am really drawn to this piece. I love the colors and it does remind me of spring.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Jessica Wong said...

Carla this is a very beautiful piece! Her green hair really stands out, yet it create such a serene feel of your illustration. Beautiful!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Steph (Khya) said...

Love this piece, love the colors you've used and the technique, very nice! I also find a lot of my self in portraits i do, my emotions tend to find their way into my work.

8:43 AM  
Blogger miragee said...

Your self-portraits have a very distinctive edge/style. I look at your photo very carefully and it seems to me you are a mellow person.

This is a really interesting post because I do self-portraits often and I know well that I do not look too much like the real me in the pictures. Maybe that's also because I project my ideal onto the portraits?

8:12 AM  
Blogger Christine Lim Simpson said...

LOvely self portrait. Wish I could draw myself as beautiful as yours. :)

7:52 AM  

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