Self Reflection

Analysis of a Painting
A self-portrait head in heavy impasto and palette knife-slicks of Prussian Blue and Lemon smeary-scrapes floats on a brushy thin Terre Verte ground. Along the bottom edge of the painting, black is stiff-brushed on and a delicate repeat pattern is scratched in (sgraffito). The title Bilious Me is squirted direct from the tube in lurid yellow and lime.

I am now ready to follow up from this oil painting from a few years ago. The work came from instinct, but I didn’t know what or how to continue. I can now  develop the idea.

In past months  I’ve been preparing the Self-Reflection project with research and   a series of pastel drawings of other artist’s self-portraits.

Self Reflection: a mirror before me, equipment to one side, art books to the other side, I draw the self-portraits of other artists and also myself. I draw the selves they present. I re-present their introspection. I observe, draw, reflect, alter, refine. My eyes flicker to my own reflection. As we look at self-portraits we reflect on ourselves.

Self-Reflection Berthe Morisot 1885
Self Reflection: drawing of Nan One Month after Being Battered, 1984 by Nan Goldin
Self Reflection: drawing of Self-Portrait with Model by Charlotte Berend-Corinth, 1931
Self Reflection Poussin 1650
Self Reflection: drawing of Portrait as a ‘Degenerate Artist’ 1937 by Oskar Kokoschka

Laura Cumming writes of the self-portrait trinity of image-object, private self, public face.  The following drawings are presented as triptychs referencing Cumming’s concept, and beginning to think about the three different views of oneself in a dressing table mirror.

Self Reflection (Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1716 | Katya Robin, 2018 | Mary Beale, c.1665)
Self Reflection (Dana Schutz 2005 | Joseph Wright of Derby 1772-3| Masaccio,1425-8)

The next stage of this work is a  series of painting that explore the motif of portraiture and colour symbolism. I am provisionally calling this concept Colour Trait – an  interplay of painting tropes: pigment types, application methods, colour symbolism & pathetic fallacy. The  paintings will combine colour symbolism with the representation of identity, mood, and the motif of the face.

Other Portraits (Colour & Mood)

Magenta Self Reflection (pastel drawing) 2018
Alba Rabbit (referencing kac’s genetically modified “glowing” rabbit). Acrylic on paper.
5 Rouble Coin (from COIN ICON work). water colour, acrylic on paper.
drawing of Michael Grusseman (my great-grandfather).  pastel on paper

Drawn from Lovis Corinth’s Ecce Homo (1925), 2011 Corinth’s Ecco Homo was in the Degenerate Art exhibition (Entartete Kunst) at the Munich Hofgarten.

portrait of Bob Cobbing, concrete poet, painted from memory, oil on board