It’s always interesting to go back and look at how your style as an artist and approach to a medium evolves over years of repetition and work. The three paintings above represent a time period from 2009 to the present. They are in chronological order running counter clockwise starting with Grandpa’s Hat, 30″ x 40″, Oil on canvas, 2009, then 34, 11″ x 14″, Oil on panel, 2013, and most recently 36, 8″ x 8″, Oil on panel, 2015. I try to do a self portrait every few years, with the goal to always be as honest in my depiction of myself. I find the aging process fascinating, and as an artist working with portrait and the figure, each new year offers different challenges that are exciting to tackle. New lines and creases, gray hairs, clothing and hair style changes, and the addition of facial hair all present new painting opportunities. Not to mention, as an artist who wants to paint the figure, self portrait pieces offer you a reliable model who is always present.
Separate from the obvious physical and tactile elements of self portraiture, there is the psychological and possible narrative aspect to the genre. Each painting encapsulates a specific point in time, and perhaps reveals subtle hints at what an artist was experiencing during the painting process. For example, I have always been intrigued by ancestry, and the painting Grandpa’s Hat was an exploration of my family’s roots and an homage to my maternal grandfather for whom I was named.