Friday, June 11, 2010

Painting Self Portraits

I recently attended a workshop at the Ford Theatre in Los Angeles in memory to Frida Kahlo, one of my favorite and admired painters. Know for her detailed and vibrant self portraits, part of the evening was going to be spent exploring self portraits. What I thought was going to be a film and dance event, became an amazing experience in painting our self portrait. The out door theatre was turned into an art studio with the stage being lined with brown paper, acrylic paints and mirrors. Two professional painters were there to guide us. But other then some technique tips here and there, we were on our own. I began with an outline of my face and then attempted to to fill in the oval. It is challenging doing a self portrait with one size brush, but luckily we could paint over and over our brown paper until we got the image that we liked. I could feel my inner critic speak loudly as I tried over and over to get the image I wanted and feeling little control over the paint and my brush. As soon as I was able to let go of any expectations and just let the brush have fun, my self criticism silenced some what. My friends who came with me had a great time and the portraits that came out of the experience were fantastic. It was a beautiful experience and I learned to allow my self portrait to be more of a reflection of how I am rather than a perfect image of my features.