Self Portrait #6 - Using the Non-Suffering Method of Drawing THE SELF PORTRAIT GOES WALKING!

For Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.

The Non-Suffering Method of Drawing a Self-Portrait: take a photo, some good contrasts work best; lighten it & print (no need to use copious amounts of toner); paper clip it to the sheet you want to draw on; hold up on a window with bright sunlight behind and trace...

Self Portrait #6, June 20, 2006This is a traced drawing of the new profile pic. Looks way too young, but that's beside the point. Why? It's hard to draw ourselves - afterall, we haven't spent a lifetime looking at our faces. I have no real idea of my eye or nose or mouth shape, nor the way the curls fall. So I'm learning... for all you folks who don't draw, this is a viable way to learn! Even if it doesn't exactly turn out to 'look' like us.

Self Portrait #6 - Lady Of Vines, Of The Forest, Or Fence Sitter

A hand drawn image of a photograph photographed. O, this is fun! Lady of the Vines, or the Forest, or Fence Sitter.

Self Portrait #6- In the GutterIn the gutter!

Self Portrait #6 - Posted On the PostWORK AT HOME on this woman!

YES, she's been sighted all over the city!

Self Portrait goes walking!

Intrepid artist wearing a sun visor and sunglasses and a skimpy red dress seen taping suspicious SELF PORTRAIT to public poles and drains!
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Blogsday for Bloomsday

It's an enjoyable, funny, sad, irreverent, serious hour of blog readings trolled from the NET on June 6th (I'm, umm, before the middle, it was interesting to hear an actor read ma words, too). Sit back, enjoy, while you compose another self portrait for Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon. Open Source Boston Radio:

Click to Listen to the Show (24 MB MP3)


Self Portrait #5, Chorus in Red

Self Portrait #5For Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.

Update: Surely our self-portraits are versions of ourselves, and it looks like I've done versions on an image. Wonder how that happened? So far this is my favourite self-portrait. It took the longest; is more complex than it looks with something like 87 layers in photoshop. There were the photographs, one of which I chose, printed in black and white and inked in the outline and coloured the dress with a red and wet watercolour pencil; I traced this version in ink on tissue paper, and painted that dress with the same red and wet watercolour pencil and stuck it to the printed one. My daughter likes these 'two Brenda's' best, kind of a collage. Then I photographed the collage and layered it with the original photo plus another one. I crudely cut out dolphins and used them as patterns, decreasing the size on some (that's where all the layering is); then I wrote a couple of words from the post in; drew some right angle red lines and enhanced the red in various layers and posted it. It probably does "look" like me - in that if you saw this collage & you knew the Summertime me you'd recognize me. If you know what I mean! But then, hey, it's a photo, and a take-off on a photo, and a take-off on a take-off of a photo...

I kind of look like a chorus in red, don't I? :grins:

Yesterday's post: On the steaming city day, a high and dusty South wind, I walk miles breaking in new shoes that break in my feet. Red spots that threaten blisters that never arrive. Returning other shoes for exchange, I walk in a ridiculously skimpy red sundress and put the brim of my hat low because I don't care and don't want to see anyone's disapproval. Aging women shouldn't have to hide themselves, and so I don't. It's too hot to wear anything else. Finally on the way back, walking very slowly, I stop at Future Bakery for a coffee. The patio is large, partially covered with a Corono Beer tarp and a couple of tables have Corona umbrellas. Wherever my skin touches anything it sweats. The backs of my legs, behind my knees, the soles of my feet. Somewhere birds impossibly chirp. The sounds of the voices of the people around me chirp. It's a good spot, where students and writers come to drink, to study, to write. It hasn't changed in 20 years. Near me is Ye Olde Brunswick House; across the street my favourite Indian restaurant, Nataraj; an ice cream booth; and on the other corner, By The Way Cafe, which hasn't been a vegetarian cafe in at least two decades but whose sign still says it is. And now I must make my way on to buy fruits and vegetables and then home. Where I will ask my daughter to photograph me for another self portrait...

Of multiples. Duchampian. It was actually fun tonight, playing, thank you Jean!
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Self Portrait #4, a photograph of a reflection...

Self Portrait #4, Photograph, June 17, 2006Does a photograph of a reflection of oneself in the glass covering a watercolour drawing by oneself count as a self portrait? Tired, having walked many miles in search of shoes for my daughter, for myself, in 32C/90F humidity, now listening to Anjani's and Cohen's Blue Alert and sipping red wine...

For Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.
Comments (2)

Self Portrait #3

Self Portrait #3, June 15, 2006

Who am I? Why do I find self-portraiture harrowing? What my mind sees and what my hand draws are not the same. Is it that my eyes are trained to see like a camera, and my hand feels its way over surfaces, uncaring about representational likeness? If someone who knows me saw these self portraits would they recognize me? The problem is no, they wouldn't; not out of context. I don't know who I'm drawing, but it's not me. Could I then call them versions of the self?

Because Natalie asked, for Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.

Two renditions of the same self portrait drawn in a tiny mirror, on a small piece of canvas, 3.5"x5", india ink, watercolour pencil. Click on image for larger sizes.
Comments (6)


I found this in my inbox, neat huh:


I'm writing from Open Source, a public radio show based in Boston and distributed around the country.

Last year we started what we hope will be a yearly tradition for us called Blogsday. Based loosely on Bloomsday, which celebrates "Ulysses" as an evocation of the whole world in a single day (in Joyce's case, June 16, 1904), the idea is create a mosaic portrait of our country from excerpts of blog posts written on the same day. (In our case this past Tuesday, June 9th.)

After assembling the excerpts we bring in two accomplished and agile actors to read them. I'm writing now because your post on June 6, "On Saturday Night," caught our eye and we're interested in using it on the show, which will air live on Thursday night from 7-8pm EST.

We can't pay anything -- this is public radio after all -- but we can guarantee a respectful treatment, a national radio audience, and a link on our blog.

Best regards, Chelsea"

I don't know if it's podcast. Chelsea did email me at 7:30pm: "It's being read right now. It sounds great. Many thanks." It was a long day and, oh, it was nice to say yes to Blogsday in honour of Bloomsday...
Comments (5)

Self Portrait #2

Self Portrait #2, June 13, 2006Another sketch, for Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon, surreptitiously where I'm working. The small mirror was under the counter, it was dimly lit, and I had my sketch book flat in front of me, so... Someone did say, "That looks like you!" But then my daughter said it was cartoony and didn't. Representation. Oh, sigh. Self-portraits. Oh, sigh.

While I released myself from having to make people look like themselves some time ago, and consider my drawings instead 'inspired' by my models, and it was very freeing, I am trying to create more of a likeness, however that may be!

Eyes are too big. Reading glasses askew - that's me!
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Random Bits from the Notebook...

CaligraphyDon't use twigs, use brushes.

The downward vertical line & the upward vertical line don't meet, and she saw this years ago and went away distraught.

It's SunFire Day. Solstice.

The typoGenerator threw up some of my images. A photograph of a poppy; a line drawing of a woman.

In the field of green, some random red.

My dog lies sleeping beside me; she always has to be near.
From the Notebook...
The wall clock ticks. The world holds still. O


(I did for an hour.)

Then move, fast.

(I didn't. But ran into an old friend in her blue Rav4 later, an occurence which seemed stretched like a line inevitably from this point.)

Self Portrait #1

It's a self-portrait, because Natalie asked, for Sparky's Self Portrait Marathon.

I know it's pale and limpid. So many night-time dreams over the years that I ought to draw, paint... but I don't know.
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Daily Sustenance...

Image Hosted by

Perhaps I'll write about meditation, what I do daily, sometime...

100 Days, a place to meditate, is a wonderful site if you'd like to find compatriots.
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