Self-Portraits In Still Life
I’m not a portrait painter, and I never will be.
I’ve done a few, and they were all disappointments. There’s just something about the process of painting people that doesn’t connect with me – it felt forced and unnatural, gave little pleasure, and caused much anxiety.
It is what it is – my calling is with painting still life.
Still, I often place myself into my paintings like I did with the one above.
These aren’t true self portraits. They’re not meant to be identifiable as me – sometimes they’re just enough flicks of paint to barely suggest a person.
They’re more like characters in a movie who are mostly silent and just observe – which is almost all a painter does anyway.
They’re also a reminder that these paintings are hand-crafted artifacts in a mass production world – the product of one person and one point of view, literally and figuratively.
This isn’t anything new or original. Artists have been painting themselves into their creations for a long time. Here is one of my favorites, from the Dutch still life painter Pieter Claesz:
I finish between 1 and 4 paintings every month, and show them to my subscribers first.
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