My First 40 Years
Self Portrait and Death
Self-Portrait and Death 1994-5 oil on linen 20x18” collection of Peter Lee
Such a macabre portrait as the one previous reminded me of my art history lessons at Kent State from the Gothic era; memento mori. One such image was of a skeleton at the bottom of a 12th century triptych that had the words, “As you are, so I once was. As I am, so you will be.”
As I painted Self-Portrait Sagittal Slice I pondered what my skull looked like and found myself interested in painting a 3D skull emerging from the shadow side of a portrait instead of the actual head I saw. It should be easy to figure out the skull from a bald head like mine, right? And I already had a variety of tones mixed from the de Gongora painting, right?
One of the tricks of the trade that I learned from Paul Ingbretson was the idea of simplifying values in the shadows… to emphasize the form created by the light and reduce the form created by reflected light in the shadow.