Art Walk 4: Self-portraits

A short note before the Art Walk: I updated the previous post about the cards and calendar. Both are now available for purchase through Principia (link in post). Supposedly the calendar has a collage that includes one of my turtle paintings.

Self-portraits. Every art student has to do them. Repeatedly. Though not my favorite recurring assignment (hence the title art), the topic seemed interesting. Fortunately there are enough acceptable portraits to show, meaning they are decent enough to escape being painted over, recycled, or banished to the Cave of Wonders.

Portraits will proceed chronologically.

Aw, kindergarten art. I’m watching Wishbone (a children’s TV show in which a Jack Russell terrier, Wishbone, imagines himself in classic literary stories). See Art Walk 3 for more elementary school art.

Let’s jump to some real, or rather, more realistic, portraits.

I actually love this self-portrait (high school) because it’s not really about me; it’s about my love of drawing characters and of story. (It appears in Art Walk 1 to show progress in drawing people realistically.)

For the Upper School Teton trip, I got out of regular school to do creative writing, make art, and study nature, but I didn’t get out of doing a self-portrait in the required trip journal.

Next.

If you’re thinking, “What?! Genevieve’s hair was never that short!” you’re right. It’s not my hair; it’s his.

Portrait of Young Man Holding Sword, Giovanni Batista Piazzetta, c. 1735, chalk.

In Figure Studies (college), students were to draw their faces in any existing portrait. Not even my mother recognized “me” thanks to the hairstyle & the massive (man) hand. Though nothing special in terms of my likeness, the conté drawing is included since the premise is different.

I was grateful to be exempt from Drawing I in college, especially the draw-your-face-on-a-big-grid assignment. Alas, grid portraits were not entirely escapable; Figure Painting a couple years later required one (below), but fortunately that project was rather interesting. It was my first time stretching and painting such a big canvas (4’ x 5’).

There is no pure black paint on the canvas; all the colors were made by mixing. A few spots have a little black mixed in, but they are indeed few. The white is blank canvas.

Now for some cartoon & chibi portraits. (Not assigned.) =)

I suppose I should explain the title art at the beginning. The left side is based on Edvard Munch’s The Scream. The right side is from a relay manga in which Genevieve struggled to come up with something to draw (in the comic, not in reality, since the premise was my idea).

Some ways to interpret the subtitle (to keep up my self-imposed title trend/challenge):

  • Simple translation: Self-portraits? Oh, no!
  • Broken bilingual pun: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!(らしい) (rashii): Apparently somebody screamed (about doing self-portraits).*

*Not properly (hence “broken” and “pun”). らしい can indicate information gained by hearsay, like “I heard it will snow,” and “Apparently Genevieve can’t write an Art Walk without referring to J-pop,” but it doesn’t actually work to pair it with quoted speech.

I drew my friends and me often.

This sketch almost made the cut for the “About the Artist” page in Cartage. It reminds me mildly of surrealist René Magritte’s The Son of Man, a self-portrait with the face covered.

Pirate G actually made the cut.

This is in my scrapbook of my trip to Japan and China. Friends and I visited Okunoshima, a.k.a. Bunny Island. Chibi Genevieve is plotting how to “rabbit” folks on May 1. (At work, some people play “rabbit”: whoever says “rabbit” to someone else on the first of the month has won. It is often competitive and sometimes inventive: pranks, rabbit statues, “Rabbit’s” Rules of Order.) May 1 held masterful victories.

That brings us to the end for today and for 2021. There won’t be a special Christmas post, but in lieu, here are musical offerings (listed in order of increasing tempo/energy).

  • From a 12/12 Christmas event for which I played carillon: Noel nouvelet (recorded on my phone in the playing cabin, hence background noises including clacking batons/keys).
  • Canadian folk legend Stan Rogers’ gently humorous At Last I’m Ready for Christmas.
  • A jazzy J-pop song to put the matsuri (“festival”) in “Christmas”: Arashi’s I Can’t Wait For Christmas. Among other places, I particularly like the lyrics at 1:50 and 2:15. Translations: “Let’s give thanks; let’s clap our hands” and “A big future is in your left hand.”

Merry Christmas and, for the leporine-inclined, hoppy new year.

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