Sunday, June 27, 2010

Self Portrait

I've been doing a lot of drawing lately. Trying to sketch everyday. Drawing was what I did almost daily for the first 21 years of life (ok maybe 18 - whatever age it was when I could pick up a crayon) before being an art major and therefore an "artist" which paralyzed me for decades. This morning as I was putting on make-up I noticed the lighting was good so I thought I'd try a self-portrait. I haven't done any since college. My mother has one of them - a charcoal drawing of me when I was 20 that I did an hour before class. I don't think there was a college assignment - whether it was for an art class, programming or literature - that I didn't wait until the absolute last possible moment to start. I've always wondered how I knew that it was in that PRECISE moment that I needed to start in order to get the assignment done on time.

This is this morning's sketch. In retrospect I could have given myself some graphite and kneaded-eraser botox, but that's me in all my jowly lined glory. Comments that I've gotten from my son - "Muuuum, you don't look like that, it makes you look too old" and my favorite (from a neighbor) - "When did Meg turn 80?"

That old self-portrait that my mother still has was a big bone of contention between she and I. It is huge and she loved it and had it framed. I thought it was totally depressing -big, scary, gloom woman peering out of the frame. I was pretty depressed when I drew it and it showed.  One day I came home from school and there it was, prominently displayed in the sunroom. I freaked and demanded it be taken down in the way that only an overly dramatic 20 year old can do.

The portrait sat in my mother's closet for the next 31 years. Funny thing is - she showed it to me a couple of months ago and I liked it. It was pretty good considering I did it in about 20 mins. I should take a picture of it and post it - just for curiosity sake.


  1. You really captured your likeness! And you are very brave. I've never had the courage to try a self-portrait. I'm afraid that the graphite medium doesn't allow for the softness and prettiness that is "you" in real life. I would love to see you paint a self portrait! Keep painting! Best, Tonya

  2. Oh thank you, your very sweet! My son told me that I made myself look too old :)

    I am going to try painting a self-portrait one of these days.

    You should try one yourself - you might be surprised!

  3. I see strenght in your eyes and the lines of your face. A simple look filled with simple grace.

    very brave.