03 Feb

Self Portrait Sunday

Thank you all for your support of my rant, and for humoring me while I got those thoughts off my chest. Now back to our regular program.

I keep seeing people doing interesting things with painting apps on their digital tablets. So, I downloaded the Artrage app for my phone. It wasn’t quite as intuitive as I had hoped and ultimately I just made a silly mess for portrait 365:044. But one day I’ll get back to it and try again.

As I continue this project, I am refining my “rules” for it. I’ve decided that I don’t want to spend much more than 15 to 20 minutes on each portrait — otherwise I’d spend all my art making time on portraits and none on my textiles or anything else. Also, after talking with my friend Deborah, I’ve given more thought to what happens if I miss a day. Considering whether it was more important to have 365 portraits, or to record each day, I’ve come to a sort of middle ground. It’s fine if I miss a day or two. If I am in a similar mood, or a thought has carried over from one portrait session to the next, then I think it is fine to do several “make up” portraits. But, if the moment has passed and I’ve moved on then that’s OK too. So, there will probably be some gaps in the continuum, and there will be some days where I create more than one portrait. What there won’t be is a significant period of time that would not accurately reflect my daily state of mind.

After using my hair as a kind of stencil, I wanted to try printing with it (the hair, not a stencil). I missed a daily portrait, but the idea of making mono-prints with my hair persisted. So, I held that idea for another day and then when I had time, I got out my printing inks, a glass plate, and a bowl of paint and went to town. The prints did not turn out as I had hoped, but sometimes it’s like that. I chose the four best ones for my project but there are more that I trashed and a few more set aside. I may revisit this with a gelatin plate some day. Portrait 365:45 was made by dipping my hair in the paint and printing it on paper. The pen drawn frame is what ultimately pulled it together.

365:46 used my hair as a mask on the inked glass. There is not nearly the detail I had hoped for and I find the texture of the ink on the glass to be distracting for the hairs. I added white pencil later to create some focus.

I got all messed up in my numbering. This one is really 365:47 despite the 43 written on it. It is another dipped hair print with a border drawn later.

More messed up numbering. 365:48 is a print masked with hair and then dipped hair printed on top of it. Not quite what I had envisioned, but the process was kind of fun. Not to worry, all the paints were water based and washed out of my hair even easier than I had anticipated.

After all the silly stuff, I was feeling like I was cheating portrait-wise. I know it’s my challenge and therefore my rules, so if I felt like it was time for a more traditional drawing then it was time. I had a nice drawing session in the morning at figure drawing group, so I carried that home with me and did a “comfort zone” charcoal pencil portrait for 365:049

Then I realized I was a portrait ahead of myself, so I gave myself a day off. Yesterday, I was fully intending to do a portrait, but got caught up in a knitting do-over that consumed me. So, I took a photo of me shaking my yarn in frustration and played with layers and the Glowing Edges filter in Photoshop. What I’d really like to do is learn about masks in photoshop. They have eluded me for years.

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