Archive for the Self-portrait. Category

Shh. Don’t tell Nell how behind I am.

Posted in Self-portrait., Self-reflection. on April 26, 2011 by fullcircleproductions

Okay, okay. So I am a sucker for lists. Doesn’t much matter what it is you’re trying to tell me, just bullet point it and add some cutesy pictures and I’m hooked. Admitting this is incredibly difficult for me, the college student and possible English major, because I am expected to understand the complexity of life without it being spelled out for me; this might be the reason I enjoy the shortcut entitled “lists” so much. Things seem so much more organized and much more manageable broken up into pieces. But we’ll get to this later.

Today in class, I started in on day two of my self-portrait. Several of my classmates complimented the “creepiness” of the work and my hair, though whether they meant the hair on the paper or my real hair, I can’t be sure. We’re going to go with both.
I could have screamed…  Although I assume no one would have been able to hear it for the mask I have to wear. (Note to self: Wash your face before every visit to your piece. It gets hot and sweaty and generally uncomfortable under that mask business. Also, charge your Ipod. That performance today sans music was just sad.) I covered and erased and covered and erased and squinted and measured and tried eighty-thousand different ways to get precise lines, but to no avail. My head was too small on the paper, my nose too small for my eyes.  AND THE MASK WAS HUGE. I must have been transfixed by the difference it made in rendering myself (Nell’s class directions were for the nose and lips- I could see neither on my face). Did I mention this was around the time my easel fell apart? Thanks to Polly Nance for helping me reset my work space. :]

Thing number two I have a hard time admitting: Nell is right. I am a wanderer. I don’t stick in one part of my artwork for too long; I try to get a general feel for the big picture and go in to make slight changes as needed. I cannot do that in this project; I have to touch only the parts of black that are attached to a finished shape. I don’t know if I can do it, or, more precisely, I don’t know at what point in this project I will feel confident in my ability to see. If ever. But! I read this amazing list just a few minutes ago (don’t you like how I brought it all back? I bet you do!), and it really pointed my artistic compass back toward north. Well, northish. You can’t really point a rat out of the gutter, you can only give her better scraps. This is the article:, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s struggling with her own mind to get this thing created (Elle, Katie, and Kelley specifically, if I can recall correctly from class).
Make it more manageable! Break it up into pieces smaller and smaller until you can’t even recognize yourself in the mirror, then fake it ’til you make it.

This class in one sentence: Sometimes the whole really does only equal the sum of its parts, so pay attention to how it all fits together.


Self-Portrait: For starters.

Posted in Notes., Self-portrait., Self-reflection. on April 22, 2011 by fullcircleproductions

First: I am allergic to charcoal dust.
Second: Our self-portraits will be done in charcoal, specifically by grinding charcoal pieces into one piece of paper (or palate) and swiping them onto our working piece with toilet paper. (As Nell says, because it’s supplied by the school, and it’s scratchy!)
Third: we will have to erase the highlights from our faces onto this paper covered in charcoal dust, while using only a kneaded eraser as your tools?

So this is our teacher-student conversation went: it. Wear a mask.
Rose: … You want me to draw a portrait of myself in the mirror while I have a mask on my face? How is that gonna work, Nell? Should I try to recall, like from memory or something?
Nell: Oh. No, I guess you’re right… Wait! Just draw it as part of your face! It would be interesting and cool, and it sounds like it would be right up your alley.
Rose: Oh. Okay. Sure. Whatever you say.

This goes back to the fact that Nell could fail me. I could have argued with her, and she would have seen it as a refusal to do an assignment, and I’m almost positive that means I would automatically fail the class. I vote no.
So Bethany covered my paper in charcoal dust while I waited patiently for a mask- I couldn’t even walk all the way into the art room without it. Finally, we start- and almost as soon as we start, I am frustrated. My frustration and satisfaction come in waves for most of the afternoon, based upon how much work I did versus how much work I had to cover back up to start over. All in all, I left on a sing-sing note. In fact, I hate that I have to wait so long to start working on it again.