I recently visited the National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian Institute, and a national treasure trove. I have always been deeply moved by the art of Native Americans. The work of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest have a special appeal for me.
After that visit it's been on my mind to try some totemic art, working with the essence of the item depicted, trying to illustrate its spirit, communicate something of its deeper meaning.
Half humorously, half seriously, I combined this urge with another self portrait... I don't think this is a good literal likeness, but this does capture some of what I'm about, from the laughter to the bowtie, from the monobrow to the fish (a visual lark I like to slip into paintings). And naturally my image would have paintbrushes and eyes to look even when mine are closed.