I was inspired to do another self portrait because of the way I look in the bathroom mirror in this house. There is a big window right beside the sink, and over the sink is the huge medicine cabinet I bought when I moved in here. Since I hung it myself, it is low enough to give me a good view of myself in the mirror. With the daylight streaming in, it is a revealing sight. It's obvious that looking at myself from the nose up, in dim artificial light, for the past several years has kept me ignorant of my appearance. I am startled anew every morning to see how old I look. It fascinates me to see wrinkles all over my face. My hair is much grayer than I thought, too. I have suspected that I was seeing myself differently from the way others saw me. I have always looked young for my age, and assumed that was still the case. I was mildly puzzled when asked by sales people if I wanted a senior citizen discount, and heard the words "for your age" spoken by those evaluating my health. Still, I let those clues fly through my brain unevaluated. The new mirror has forced me to see myself. It is more incredulity than dismay. It was something worth documenting.
I began this painting in oil on a piece of paper. After a couple of sessions with it, I lost interest. I left it on my other easel and pretty much forgot about it until a few days ago. Since I had taken out my pastels and was looking for something to do with them, I decided to work over the paint. I got interested in the face, I am so enamoured of dramatic lighting, and missed my intitial intention of showing myself as a wrinkled, elderly woman. I have flattered myself somewhat, painting myself more the way I think of myself than the way the mirror sees me.
Well, it was fun anyway. I'll have to try again to capture what the years have made of me.