Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Self Portrait

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.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your blogspot.

I found it yesterday when reading the Quoddy Tides. I wanted to read more about the chickens. Sorry that Hannah died.

gracie said...

"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 can subscribe to the same about myself.