Friday, April 17, 2009

The Wrinkles and the Grey

In that same artistic weekend, I did another self portrait all in one sitting. Click on image for a frighteningly larger version... This is larger than life size, about a foot square. It's all watercolor except some white acrylic when I changed the eyes at the very end. It was painted from a photograph, and done entirely upside down (right brain finds it easier to get the upper hand that way - learned this from the book, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" many years ago). Family says this is intense, but possibly my best likeness so far. I particularly enjoyed painting my age - "painting in the wrinkles and the gray" as the line goes in "Adam at the Window."*

I am preparing, finally, to try some other portraits (besides me)... We'll see.


*This song is about a painter, and has some of the most sensuous lyrics I know. Maybe you have to also hear it sung, so beautifully the melody goes with these words:

Door blows in behind him,
Floral pattern summer dress so gay,
Burning in the sunlight, too late to wait.
The darkness won't delay to steal her cherry lips away,
And while the careless tongues of sunlight
Slowly trickle down,
The curve of hips, her fingertips,
In kissing sips we drown,
In kissing sips we drown,
And Adam will have his way.
Adam will have his way...

Here it is, sung by Mary Black, who did the studio recording we have.

Like the amazing pairing of words and melody in "Perfect" by Eliza Carthy - but that's another post.

18 comments:

Summer Kinard said...

Okay, maybe it's because of your title, but I immediately thought of Gandalf (in a good way). Very intense. This must be what your paint brush sees, eh?

Utah Savage said...

This is my favorite painting of yours I've seen, but I am a great fan of the self-portrait. And I like the close, cropped, perspective.

I'm giving you an award. It won't appear until late tomorrow.

Genie Sea said...

A powerful painting of self by a "frighteningly" amazing artist.

linda said...

fabulous painting steve and coupled with the beautiful lyrics, it spins a very complex tale...

love it

Lisa said...

Blown away. The intensity of the expression is very striking. And the song is beautiful.

Steve Emery said...

Summer - I never mind being compared to Gandalf. Doesn't usually happen, but...

Utah - I'm not surprised that you like this one best, given your own drive to intense self revelation. I've been partly inspired by the way you dig deep into your self, your emotions, and your past in your art. Linda has been a similar muse in that direction...

Genie - Thanks! I find less intense images of me boring to draw.

Linda - Thank you - I like to think I'm complex. Don't know if it's true or not, but I've liked to think that since I was a preteen.

Lisa - Thanks. I try not to frighten children or even older humans by looking at them this way.

susan said...

I admire your bravery and honesty in painting this remarkable image. If challenged to do my own self-portrait I'm not at all sure I'd have the courage to post it.

Alex said...

As with your previously posted self portraits, I find it a little disconcerting. It is very obviously your face and yet you haven't captured it in a way that is familiar to me. Luckily, I have never been on the receiving end of that kind of intensity from you. When I look at this one, I find myself going through my mental rolodex of recent transgressions, trying to figure out which one is upsetting you.

I'm so glad you had the energy to come over for poker last night. I really enjoyed having you here. We're due a night of pool soon.

okjimm said...

I have declared today “National Say “Hello” Day!

Hello!!!!!!

n nice paintings, too!!!!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

WOW! I love this. Very sensitive but definitely intense. I haven't done an upside down one in many years since I read that book long ago. I'll have to try it. I love your work.

This is a bit darker than many of your others. What if you did one with a smile and some of those gorgeous clear yellows, reads, blues?

(I like men, too, I was just annoyed at my husband when I wrote that poem "A Perfect Love." [Of course, I don't look like that any more.]{Being annoyed with him doesn't mean I don't love him.})

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Oops, that should say reds and blues.

What if you splashed clear, transparent colors on the page the way you often do and then painted your face over those colors?

So your inner radiance shines through.

I know it's there or you wouldn't be able to paint those magnificent paintings!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

(Or maybe you've already done it and I missed it). By the way, I want to say that these remarks are NOT intended as criticisms of THIS painting, which I like very much.

giggles said...

Yes, I like this portrait very much... very intense ....deep... very striking.... now that I think about it, significantly (?)missing intense color....

Steve Emery said...

Susan - It doesn't feel particularly brave of me if they come out well. I think it would be tough to post something I wasn't pleased with.

Alex - I have never felt this way towards you. Interesting, really, since you have a gift for creative ways to get people riled up.

And really, this image is just me looking with full intensity - taking me apart with my eyes. I think that's why my self portraits often look this way. It looks very familiar to me.

Poker was good - and pool would be a pleasure, though it might be too warm now for chocolate stouts... (for me).

OkJimm - HELLOOOO Back! I need to get over to your place. I can't get to everyone as often as I like anymore - too much work, too many interesting blogs, and not enough play time.

Mary - I agree with a lot of what you had to say here - and I think I'll try that idea (splashing bright colors around for underneath) for a self portrait. The one in my avatar was done something like that - as was the first one I posted.

Giggles - I haven't been able to put really bright colors on my face yet without it feeling like I were putting paint on my face... We'll see where that goes. This is more color than I've used on some others.

Pagan Sphinx said...

The self-portrait is brilliant. No hat, no glasses. Just Steve. I love the older changes; in myself and others.

What else can I say? Your self-portrait is so much as I imagined you - pensive and intense. You are many things, as we all are. But this is a side of you that I can image and appreciate.

I would love to see other portraits!

All the love,
Gina

Steve Emery said...

Gina - thank you so much. Maybe I will get to some of those other portraits...

linda said...

very interesting you realized you were complex at such a young age, especially given you were a complex young man and not a woman, who is always complex, it seems....it gives a perspective on why you paint, what you paint, how you paint and screw the world if they don't get it! very huge exclamation point....i like that ;)

that makes two of us.

linda said...

steve, please don't put make-up on this face...I hope i don't hurt any feelings but this face is such a great face, a painter's face, a thinker's face, a watcher's face...don't change it by making it colorful or more "painterly"... i am attached to it the way it is...

and i am trying to write those 10 scraps and it's damned hard...and i'm damned tired and should take a pic and paint me this way ... now that would be honest, wouldn't it.

and very scrappy...

blessings and have a good weekend.