Tuesday, February 17
Hope everyone had a lovely long holiday weekend!
This week I want to share with you a very special and rare piece of art, and one of very few self-portraits.
When I was in school at Skidmore College, I took a studio 2-D Drawing class. I relished spending the 8 to 10 hours a week in this class, and my professor was amazing, too!! My college career was short lived, but I was like a sponge and took it all in. I was never formally trained in art, but rather self-taught. Classes at Skidmore were the first exposure I had to "real" art technique and teachings.
This self-portrait was assigned as a 3-hour study. Because it was my first Thanksgiving holiday from my first semester at school, I opted to complete it at home. I carried this huge piece of paper on the plane, along with my artbox filled with pencils, kneaded erasers, charcoals, and conte crayons. I got home from the airport and before comiserating about the whole college experience with my family, I explained I had an assignment, and excused myself for 3 hours to complete it. In my room, I had a full length mirror on the back of the door which was a necessary tool for doing a self-portrait. I taped the 25" x 40" (really big!) paper to the wall, got out the charcoals and erasers and got to work. This piece took me every second of the 3 hours, but when it was done, I was surprised that I recognized myself, hand in my pocket and all!
Throughout my late teens I was famous for wearing a pony tail in a Greek sailor's cap, Doc Marten boots, and a big silver ankh around my neck, all of which are depicted here. At that time in my life, I was dealing with a lot of different things, all contributing to the fact that I believe I look sad in the drawing. Recognizable, but still sad. This is one reason that even today I have a hard time looking at it; I feel so much happier now! It leads me to the idea that it is time to do a new self-portrait. It is also the reason that it is such a special piece, as this is the first time that anyone except my immediate family has seen it! But for the record, my parents adore this piece and it actually hangs in a beautiful frame in their home!