Friday, December 31, 2010

In the footsteps of Van Gogh - Goodbye 2010

8.5" x 11" Graphite

Light effects in Adobe Photoshop

While my housecleaners prepped the house for our major New Year's Day Open House, I sequestered myself in my art room. I had too much on my mind to start a serious project, so I decided to do a self-portrait in pencil. I quote Hallie Farber from a comment she left on an earlier post, " Self-portraits are easier; we don't need to please anyone else." I've only tried one other years ago when assigned to do one in colored pencil in a university class. I tried to be honest with my wrinkles, earned in a life well-lived.

As I tackled this project, I was thinking about good friends Myrna Wacknov ("Drawn to the Mirror") and Peggy Stermer Cox, both masters of self-portraits. I also recalled the Van Gogh self-portraits I've seen in museums in Europe and in our own DeYoung Museum's "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay."

The second picture was created in Adobe Photoshop when I was poking around looking for a way to sharpen this image a bit for this post. I discovered Filter->Render>Lighting Effects. This one is the default, but there is much to play with here -- interesting.

Back to prep work for the Open House, usually attended by 70 to 100 people. We do lots of cooking. To all my blog friends, Happy New Year.


hwfarber said...

Happy New Year, Mary. I recognized your self-portrait immediately--not from your ID photo but from your blog of Nov. 21. I think you've gotten younger since you started blogging! I love Open Houses on New Year's Day--much nicer than New Year's Eve parties.

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, Happy New Year!! Your comments are always so unique. Google should use your comment in an ad -- "Skip the gym, become a blogger. In just a few short months you will look younger!" I think social networking agrees with me.

Christiane Kingsley said...

100 guests...Mary, what energy you have! I love your self-portrait!

Happy 2011!

Mary Paquet said...

Christiane, Happy New Year! And thanks. Yup, I've always been pretty energetic. We had a lovely party and now I am happy to settle into quieter days.

Anonymous said...

Well Mary- I missed this post. And I missed your other recent post of Jamie in watercolor (beautifully rendered). So I'm late, but I'm glad I caught them before they got by me.
Your self portrait is wonderful! I agree with Hallie that you do appear much younger in the past year as evidenced by your new profile photo.

I'm glad you had a wonderful New Year's day open house. I look forward to your next year of blogging and youthfulness!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Mary, OH, you do me a GREAT honor! I am touched! Though, I must say I don't feel like I've mastered the self portrait. I have been thinking I need to so some more. I like your self portrait; yes, it looks like you, especially the one Hallie mentioned. Plus, I think you've captured some of you wonderful inner spirit! What a great way to start the year. And, I enjoyed looking at your watercolor of Jamie!

hmuxo said...

I love your self-portrait Mary!! Someday, I'll give it a try..I guess it better be soon! hmmmm!

Barbra Joan said...

Happy New Year Mary, I hope your Open House went well.. You are so brave (as usual ) to do a self portrait, I would be adding long eyelashes and taking away the wrinkles.. "Vanity thy name is woman" so true. You did an excellent job. and thats because your so secure,, good for you...
your friend Barbra

Gary Keimig said...

I don't know. I think a self-portrait would be really difficult. I'm afraid I would come out looking a lot different than how others would see me. LOL
Good job.

AutumnLeaves said...

Mary, you remind me a bit of Dana Cooper for some reason! You have lighter hair though. (And maybe it is simply the shape of the specs! LOL) Anyway, I think this is well done and something I dread doing. I don't like to see myself in photos or paintings...unless it was when I was younger and skinnier. LOL Anyway, looking forward to getting back into the groove of blog reading and visiting all my artist friends.

Mary Paquet said...

Pam, as always I love to read your comments. I look forward to another great year of blogging.

Peggy, I like that -- capturing inner spirit.

Hilda, it's fun to try this.

Barbra Joan, I sure had to resist giving myself a facelift!

Gary, I wondered if I really look anything like this, but Bob said I was recognizable. I don't think we look the same to ourselves as we do to others.

Sherry, welcome back and I look forward to continued conversations.