Change and Grow – Self-Portrait

My schedule was utterly slammed this week.  Every space on the wall calendar was crammed with appointments and commitments and things that needed to be done.  I thought there was not the remotest chance I was going to get to even view this week’s Life Book lessons let alone sit down and do something creative.  However, two things happened this week that utterly jiggered my schedule and caused a great deal of hassle – one of my kids was off school sick for two days and then we had a snow day – but which actually meant I had more time stuck at home.  More time at home meant I could actually get stuck into the lesson and art time was probably just what I needed to take the edge off the stress of a totally bonkers week.

The lesson was taken by Tamara Laporte.  Tam always provides wonderfully in-depth videos for her lessons but there was no way I was going to find time to both view the videos and then still have time to create.  I, therefore, read the accompanying PDF, modified the lesson by eliminating certain stages, and got stuck in.  The crux of the lesson was a self-portrait scaffolded on an image transfer.  I have never had much success with image transfers but I thought that was precisely why I should have another crack at it.  The outcome was not ideal – I think I spread the gel medium too thinly in places – but is definitely the best I have produced so far so represents progress.

6a Self-Portrait - Transfer

I then proceeded to paint on top of the image transfer and this was where I diverged from the lesson.  I did not have time for layer upon layer of media so I limited myself to acrylic paint, Neocolor II crayons, and Inktense pencils and blocked in areas of colour and built up the detail of my face.

6b Self-Portrait - Middle

The idea of the painting was to include personal, symbolic elements and text alongside the self-portrait.  It is not really my thing to be that personal and emotional with my art work.  Art is definitely therapeutic to me but only in terms of the act of creating.  I don’t need it to be a form of processing and expressing my thoughts and feelings and I am also too intensely private.  I decided, however, that the self-portrait did need some finishing touches so I added some collage elements in the form of butterflies and leaves formed from text pages.  All of those things could be interpreted as things that are important to me as a person – words and learning, growth, and change.

6c Self-Portrait - Grow & Change

27 thoughts on “Change and Grow – Self-Portrait

  1. What a wonderful piece! It has so much depth. I agree with you about limiting the symbolism and such in my art, but the final here seems to convey who you are – at least as I’ve come to know you through your blog.
    (I also want to note that you are so inspiring to me. I keep thinking I’ll start a blog, but my intense need for privacy – and limited time – keep me from doing so. But you are helping me to inch slowing into the blogosphere.)

    • Oh, and while you had a snow day and are probably digging out, we in Boulder/Denver are having near record highs. Forecast 70 degrees today.

    • Thank you very much for your lovely comment. I always appreciate your words of support and encouragement.

      As for blogging, I am super private as I stated but I am perfectly comfortable blogging about my art and my family life and our travels. It is quite easy to set the parameters for what you will and will not share about your life. I thought I would find it more difficult than I do but it is fairly straightforward. I have only ever written one post that was massively personal and felt a little like oversharing but I felt it was important to share and contribute to breaking down taboos. Maybe you could have a try writing out some drafts of blog posts and see how you feel about potentially sharing them on a blog.

  2. I like how you have completely obliterated all signs of the original photo and produced an image of yourself that is recognisably you and yet different. I am somewhat abashed at my inability to get to work in the face of the slightest interruption to my day when I read of your schedule 🙂

    • Thank you. Honestly, there are many times when I cannot figure out myself how I fit all these art projects into my daily and weekly life. It helps that I can use the kitchen table as my art space (we have a dining room so the table isn’t in use otherwise) and leave projects set up so that I can just add bits and pieces in snatched moments of time. All those snatched moments soon add up.

  3. This is a great way to do faces! When I used to attempt realistic drawings, the proportions were always waaaaay off and my people ended up looking like Thunderbirds puppets 😆 I love that we get to see your work in progress now too, and the finished piece is awesome!

  4. Beautifully done, Laura! I think your transfer was just right. The vintage look made it interesting. But I was surprised when you changed the tone of the transfer and made something new yet totally your style out of it. The transformation from one piece to another is what makes it interesting and so so enjoyable.

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