The man in the changing room

Selfie 1607 crop

Self Portrait July 2016 (12 cms x 12 cms ink 2016)

Sometimes, while trying on something in a clothing shop, I’ll catch sight of a middle-aged, grey-haired man in the mirror and wonder, for a split second, who he is and why he can’t find his own changing room. Then I realise that he’s me and I am, unfortunately, no longer 35. Or anywhere close to 35.

This probably explains why my attempts at self-portraits always turn out so odd. Sometimes I look like a young actor appearing as an old man in a theatre company that can’t afford a decent make-up artist. I once did one that looked like Bill Murray in a wind-tunnel, another where I looked like an unconvincing Elvis impersonator…

Last night I thought I’d have another go – today being Selfie Art Day – starting with a faint pencil outline to be sure that my head was the right shape and my ears in the right place, and then drawing in ink until it looked about right. If I did something wrong I’d simply go over it until it looked better. The end result, I thought, might suggest one of those Giacometti sketches that almost obliterate the subject.

Yesterday was a challenging day and I didn’t get very far with it. However, looking at the picture again this morning there was something about the eyes that captured yesterday’s emotional temperature. Although I’d remain a free man for years if this was ever used as a police identikit picture, I submit it for Selfie Art Day with only a slightly guilty conscience. The expression in the eyes is pretty accurate and the eyes are, we’re told, the key to any portrait.





37 thoughts on “The man in the changing room

  1. I love the lines, and how they create the forms.
    I always make myself younger in my portraits. That’s how I feel anyway.(and who IS that person in the mirror that looks so much at times like my mother or my father?) (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have caught myself wondering the same thing. Who is that in the mirror? It can’t possibly be me staring back! My portraits are always of a younger, thinner self. Young at heart so why can’t I look young to go with it?? I think you have captured yesterdays mood in your eyes rather well Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had that experience so many times, Michael. I love this sketch especially how it seems like you cropped it to show just the essence of the subject – no hair, background, shoulders – just the essence.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I’d ben more “reluctant” than usual lately…stemming from, frankly, lots of art activity and not a lot of outcome. We’re keeping it real here. 🙂 And then I was helping her with the website. I think I’ll still write from Gray Water about this next phase. Thanks for the question, which served as an encouragement!


  4. Pingback: #SelfieArt Day – (not so) fun with ProCreate | One Good Thing

  5. To capture yourself in a sketch, a moment in time. I love it for what it represents and the simplicity which it is not. Age, its a weird thing and how did we get here? I see myself differently too, sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What I love about this portrait is that you don’t look like you’re drawing yourself if you see what I mean, it’s relaxed, really lovely drawing. Whenever I try and do a self portrait I just get an image of me concentrating and frowning lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Phil. It’s interesting that you say that. I did make a conscious effort to relax in front of the mirror and not do that Christopher Walken face that I normally do when trying to draw myself. It’s not a great likeness as I say, but there is something about it that reflected my mood.

      Liked by 1 person

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