Wednesday, October 1, 2014

reworked self portrait

28" x 21"
      I've had this self portrait in my painting rack for about a year; never quite finished it and never quite satisfied with the way it came out. It is based on a photograph I took in my studio a few years ago. The image was striking to me, with my reflection captured in the set of double doors in my studio at night. The way the camera (IPhone) lined up with my head, obscuring my face, was an interesting self portrait, perhaps proving to be a better photograph than a painting, though. Anyway, I put it away after working on it for a few weeks, and forgot about it.   A few weeks ago I pulled it back out, with the intention of starting back into it. As I was looking at it on the wall, I noticed my reflection over my left shoulder. Same interior, but scaled out a little bit; now my whole body was reflected in the doors. Some of the elements lined up to what was already there, but for the most part I dove right in and started blocking in the new painting:

      I usually don't like to paint over old paintings, mainly because some of the painting underneath can pop through in the form of ridges and edges, which can be distracting and a nuisance to paint over. This time I didn't mind so much; the previous painting created a bedrock of paint, which I was able to add to for it's current iteration.
     I've included details and progress shots here, mostly of the figure. I like to have a night painting to work on in addition to the plein air work that I do during the day; it gives me something to work on in the studio at night a few days a week.
     I'm still not sure if it's done, but I think it's close...I don't want to paint over the looser and more raw elements. I like how your eye bounces around the painting, picking up the various reflections and different light sources throughout, and how the motif of the door/glass reiterates the implied picture plane.

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