Thursday, July 06, 2006

Self-portrait: Seeing and Being Seen

Portrait 5
Click to enlarge

My third and final entry for the self-portrait marathon. I have achieved what I thought would be impossible at the outset - a close-up, full face picture looking straight at the camera. Except of course that there was no camera. Just a reflected Doppelgänger, returning the gaze and armed with a soft black pencil and paper.

Anything approaching a likeness? Not for me to judge, and I am not sure anyway that verisimilitude is that important. But if we're being picky, the jawline isn't quite right and nor are the eyebrows, and ....

I drew whilst looking hard at my reflection in the mirror, and consequently something of what it feels like when I am intense and concentrating - obsessing even - comes across for me in the sketch. Having the hair pulled back in a small pony tail, off-centre on this occasion, is a real bonus in hot weather. This is not my usual look, but it is easier to draw.

A little water got spilled on the paper after finishing the drawing and I was going to scrap it and start again, but once it had dried I rather liked the sunburst effect.

It's unnerving posting this - like opening a door without knowing what's behind it.

The door does need opening, though.

13 Comments:

Blogger Stray said...

Wow.

Seriously impressed. First of all that you captured such intensity in the drawing - but most fundamentally that you managed to look yourself in the eye and throw caution to the wind. Huge thing to accomplish - how does it feel now?

9:11 am  
Blogger Mary said...

How does it feel? Aaargh!!

Thanks Stray. :-)

9:20 am  
Blogger Jean said...

What a beautiful, delicate, skilfull drawing. And it IS like you. Though not as beautiful, not as soft and generous. And how wonderful to see it here and to know you've been on a journey perhaps somewhat like my own through this self-portrait thing.

11:05 am  
Blogger rdl said...

My you are multi-talented - drawing too! Nice job. Intense yes, like the photos too.

2:10 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

Oh, that's *beautiful*. So beautiful.

2:31 pm  
Anonymous Jess said...

Wow, Mary, how terrific--I love it. A really lovely portrait!

7:11 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Brava!

9:05 pm  
Blogger g said...

looking hard at yourself in the mirror - what a challenge. and who is looking back? isn't that an intriguing question. a likeness? i'm wondering if you considered drawing the face with glasses on, like your photo, or whether that was a practical thing?

10:43 pm  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Hell's teeth Mary! You can draw as well!
'This ' Mary, seems to be staring the world down, telling it to throw whatever it likes at her.....she will throw it back, and then some!

11:59 pm  
Blogger Brenda said...

What a beautiful surprise! You! The softness yet intensity of the eyes, the gaze, a self-gaze, but looking at me, is riveting. I love this portrait of you...

1:07 am  
Anonymous beth said...

Congrats, Mary - both on this lovely portrait and on "facing yourself" so literally. I know it took courage! Do you think you will keep on drawing? You should...

1:53 am  
Blogger Sky said...

Good for you! Thanks so much for sharing this journey!

3:06 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thank you everyone!

G: No, I didn't include the glasses for practical reasons as you rightly guessed ....

8:17 pm  

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