Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Too wrinkly to be a model these days

I think that my conclusion to working on a self-portrait is that I am so much more old and wrinkly on the outside than inside my head!
However, I decided to set  myself this challenge and though the outcome looks nothing like me at all, it is another starting point to move on from.
The first question is the inevitable one - what makes a self portrait?  I would say that it absolutely does not need to be a recognisable 'head and shoulders' as per traditional portraits (though in this era of the selfie, we seem to have reverted to this at least in photographs). A self portrait could take any aspect of you whether that is physical, emotional, interests, skills, history, events etc. etc. and become a portrait. Any single image or artwork will not be able to encompass everything, so perhaps best to concentrate on one or two features.

I chose to use my 'personality colours' from the previous post as the background and to superimpose a version of a line drawing of my face as the foreground. The face was never supposed to be the main feature, it was just a hint that the colours are portraying the personality under the skin.

An interpretation of my personality (as decided by my students) in colour.
Then came the challenge to take a selfie in which my face wasn't too distorted, the angle all weird or my eyes looking in odd directions and which didn't show too many wrinkles! I realise that I do spend quite a lot of time with my hands under my chin and that as I work with my hands, perhaps symbolically it is a good thing to include them.

Sometimes it can help to use Photoshop to look at the image in different ways. It can highlight the strong lines or area or analyse the shapes and colours. So I spent quite a long time using different manipulations and filters to see whether in this case it was going to help - unfortunately not really, though I like some of the images and might come back to them another time. Here are a selection:

Perhaps I should have gone with this one? Except I thought the teeth might be an issue?

Eventually a simple crop and b&w transformation was all I used, then using the photocopier, enlarged the image to the correct size and traced the lines onto 'press and seal'. I hadn't come across this before, but it is a sticky version of clingfilm which presses onto the fabric and holds itself into place whilst being stitched over then can be torn away. Neat, though a bit fiddly when removing the last bits on the rough fibrous surface of the fabric.

Tracing off the enlarged image onto press and seal

Laying the press and seal over the background ready to stitch my face onto it.

Face on! Lots of blending and detailing to do yet

Getting there - more stitching and gilding to add highlights. Got to have a bit of glam, no?


Maybe finished. I am hanging myself on the curtain for assessment for a few days.

The light wasn't too great to capture the colours and the gilding in the piece, but you get the idea. May be I will call it 'Wrinkles-r-me'.


Anonymous said...

Love it! And I hope you've enjoyed being hung on the curtain for a few days. :-) Glad you picked the colours that I'd thought were 'you' too, from the list on your last post!

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden said...

Aww - thank you so much. I am still contemplating myself on the curtain, but fantastic to have your feedback.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the options that you looked at. I do like the colours that you have used, I definitely associate them with you. When did you go curly by the way!

Maggi said...

Oops sorry, I had in intention of being anonymous!

Unknown said...

A wonderful art mixed media portraits drawing to transfer in fabric. Thank you for sharing zhis.