Self Portraits: Week 1

If you’ve never seen the video “4 Artists paint 1 tree” you definitely should. It is what it sounds like- 4 disney artists paint 1 tree and come out with immensely different results. In thinking about how we differ as artists and how to “illustrate” that in a non-literal way, I came up with the most literal way possible- the self portrait. We’ve spent so much time on separate projects recently that I really felt we needed to come together for a few weeks and literally look at ourselves, and produce a few pieces that allow us to center in for a little while. An artist in this video it states-

“Like a soloist the artist has to think of what effect he has on the whole”

I hope each individual in art class can see themselves as an active contributor to the group and a valuable contributor our productivity as a whole. We don’t just come to sit around and work by ourselves, producing solo after solo but we come to affect the group dynamic as a whole- hopefully in an overall positive way.

To start our self portraits, we first drew ourselves without looking in a mirror. I thought this would be tough for the group but everyone seemed to have a fairly good idea of how they wanted to portray themselves. After working on this first portrait, we then drew ourselves while looking in a mirror- this was much harder! We get so hung up on the details instead of just using our intuition and trusting that we know what we look like (which most of us don’t have an accurate perception of anyways!). When asked which portrait each person liked, about half liked the mirror drawing and half liked the no mirror drawing. A while back, I acquired many tiny black canvases and I think these portraits would look gorgeous in bright acrylics all grouped together as a kind of “group” self portrait. We’ll keep working on these- they’re going in such a wonderful, quirky direction!

Here’s what we worked on yesterday:


Kim’s self portrait: Without mirror on the Left, With mirror on the Right
Vinh’s self portrait: Without mirror on the Left, With mirror on the Right
Elizabeth’s self portrait: With mirror on the Left, Without mirror on the Right
Corinne’s self portrait: Without mirror on the Left, With mirror on the Right