Creative Space, 112 x 81cm – acrylic on board, ‘A self-portrait set in my kitchen which is a very creative space as I love to cook every day and I love good food. Again colour, light and geometry.’
When we are all at home so much more, a self-portrait is a natural subject to choose and one which offers great potential. Surrounded by our home and belongings, loved ones, pets, gardens, balconies, views, the options and variations are limitless. In my painting ‘Creative Space’ I chose the simple setting of my kitchen, which to me is hugely creative place within my home. I love food and the craft of cooking so being in the kitchen inspires me both physically and mentally. From Chinese to French to Japanese to Italian cuisine food comes in many colours, shapes, sizes, and textures .
I have an approach to portraits in which I try to include something which tells you more about the subject than just a simple likeness would and in this work I show you my kitchen where I cook creatively every day and where I am surrounded by pots and pans, crockery and tins of food. I think the initial impact of this self-portrait is the geometric form and colour; everything is bathed in yellow light, delineated by the red door frame, the portrait is anchored and highlighted by the geometric shapes surrounding me . My approach to painting is to include the absolute minimum of information and detail necessary to convey my personal view of the composition and to do so with the minimum palette of flat colours, as I have done in this piece, focusing on the lines and colour to bring out the patterns inherent in the composition. However the fun of a self-portrait is how you choose to represent yourself. Perhaps I appear slightly irritated that I have been disturbed in my private creative space, providing a twist on the usual self-portrait ( an alternative title might have been “What you lookin’ at!” ).
So many great artists have self-portraits in their portfolios, some including symbols and personal momento’s in the work, Frida Kahlo’s impactful images are filled with colour and symbols to intrigue the viewer. David Hockney, another artist inspired by self –portraiture has so far created over 300 self-portraits, ‘Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, the most interesting aspect of other people – the point where we go inside them – is the face. It tells all’ David Hockney
So if you want to paint why not do a self-portrait? So many options, so many ideas, what message do you want to convey? What symbols might you chose to include – have fun and enjoy the pleasures of creating your self-portrait during these unusual days.