Yesterday, I mentioned that I originally intended to input my self-portrait as only one of the crowd. I wanted to be the small face in the back, right of the composition… the spectator behind the crowd, looking at whatever they were looking at. Hmmm… I wonder if this means I have a secret desire to be a follower. I can accept that to a certain extent. My inner voice is offering an alternative view: I am grateful to follow in the footsteps of greatness and that I still have my place in that crowd. YUP, I LIKE THAT BETTER!

Here’s the thing, once I started adding the pink for the faces, I started seeing my smirk appear in all the faces. Maybe they are all me. This will possibly sound arrogant, but maybe I see myself in all the great artists that inspire me. Maybe I’m also following my own artistic voices. that I now can see that my earlier work was just as valuable as my newer work, only different. It all lead to my current abilities and practice. I am in all that I’ve done before and that will continue as I grow forward. Part of this relates to the struggle of overpainting old canvases that I initially had to convince myself I no longer liked in order to sacrifice them to new creativity. Looking at this another way, these older works were steps in my progress and serve as a creative base for my practice. I’m loving to overpaint old canvases, heavy with texture and stories of their own. All that under-texture adds life to my newer compositions! It gives me courage to let go and trust my instincts!

Stay tuned for more on this painting and the others that are already forming in my mind…

Materials: Acrylic on reclaimed (overpainted) canvas 

Dimensions: 30” (76.2cm) x 30” (76.2cm)

7 thoughts on “A Crowd of Me – Two: I see some change in perspective

  1. I like the texture produced by over painting a previous work; it’s like the mystery behind the mask. I believe we all reflect what inspires us to some extent and those colours really bring the painting to life.
    (Still haven’t traced that reference yet. Maybe it will just come to me.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thnx Chris.
      I’m not sure how to explain it, but working on textured surfaces is really, really satisfying. I’m sure that’s at least part of the reason I enjoy over painting old canvases. Maybe that part of e really enjoys the transformation aspect of it… turning an old story (ie: forgotten, neglected, or unloved painting) into something of interest again… perhaps in my ego, I’m giving it a new voice.
      When I was starting out and had no money for canvases, nor any idea about where to find old ones (back in the early 1980s), I would try using multiple layers of jute that my Dad would toss in the Spring after they served their purpose of protecting some shrubbery, stretch them over wood scraps, and use old cans of house paint for a gesso-base, before painting with acrylics. While it used far more paint than I wanted to use, I really loved painting on that texture… it grabs the paint differently… there’s a kind of dance between the brunch and textured surface that only works well when I et go of some control.
      I guess, that’s also part of why I enjoy it… it helps me let go and allow the work to unfold.

      Liked by 2 people

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