Sunday, September 03, 2006

Look at yourself - Painting a self portrait

This is a clip from the first self portrait I ever did. It was completed last year. The entire painting is posted on my website. This is what most people think of, or something similar, when doing a self portrait.
Earlier this spring, before my blog, I thought about doing one self portrait drawing per week. (I think I did only two.) But recently the idea of doing a portrait of someone without them being in the picture has fascinated me. See my earlier post (August 7) Portrait of my Father. So of course that got me to rethinking the idea of doing another self portrait.
A good self portrait without yourself in the picture should have two main points.
1. It should have a good story behind it.
2. Your family or friends should recognise you in it.

My wife might recognise me in this and say it is a true self portrait. But I don't think I like the lighting.
Here is my self portrait. I think my family would recognise me in it, and there is a story behind the painting.

This is a very low key painting. Other than the highlights, the highest value is actually a mid-tone.

Gave Up The Day Job
8x10 oil on canvas


How appropriate to post this on Labor Day.
I am very fortunate. I have a wonderful wife who believes in me. So much so, that after working for 30 years I was able to "give up the day job" and chase a dream. I used to work for engineering firms doing electrical system design. I had to wear these boots for years in chemical plants, aluminum mills, refineries and other nasty places. When I decided to go full time into art, last November, I now only wear them to mow the lawn. So here is my self portrait.... without me being physically in the picture.


Louis Boileau said...

Hi Peter, Really like the self portrait drawing on your sketchpad.

Darren Maurer said...

That is an awesome painting.

ParisBreakfasts said...

These are just GREAT! Take a look at Van Gogh's pair of shoes in case you haven't yet. Nicholson painted them too. Good story too.

David said...

Peter, what a great portrait and story. Those worn-in boots tell it all. The seem heavy with the very history of your tale. Sounds like you're blessed with an amazing wife, too!

Christina said...

What a cool concept, a self portrait without the self. I like both the over-the-should painting and the one with the broken-in boots.

Cindy said...

Your wife has been a source of inspiration and motivation for many of us...I admire her as much as I do your work, Peter! Thanks for sharing it with us on a daily basis.

Peter said...

Dude! thanks so much for sharing your talent. Guys like you are an inspiration to guys like me. Your paintings and commentry are great. I never thought of a self portrait in this way before - so another thanks for getting me to think what non face self portrait I'd come up with.
Wish you well man...
Peter to Peter