Paintings from selfies #1

Enid's self portrait smaller

So my wife is a modern dancer and while living in New York, pregnant with our first daughter she was asked by a choreographer to participate in a dance piece with another pregnant dancer. The work was titled “Mirror Belly” as the dancers glued mirror tile segments to their abdomen to look like a mirror ball. Before the only performance she took some selfies in full costume. This was just prior to the selfie became a craze, before the dominance of the smartphone, Instagram, etc.. When I saw the pictures I was intrigued and wanted to paint them. The manganese blue hair is so alluring and I was itching to use a tube in my paintbox.

The technique used here is grisaille, which was developed in the early renascence. It involves painting several undercoats of monochrome followed by multiple glazes of color. It takes a long time. I decided to place the panels vertically to evoke the photo booth of the early 1900’s. Using straight-from-the-tube colors for the background evoking pop art makes this painting a mini-course in art history!

The entire work measures a mere 27” x 6” and is painted in oils on three panels. Please visit my website for more.


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