The original ‘selfies’

Although self portraits have been made by artists since the earliest times.     It wasn’t until the Renaissance in the mid 15th century that artists can be identified from their self portraits.

With better and less expensive mirrors many painters and sculptors tried some form of self-portraiture.

Along with the two large paintings that arrived here on Monday, came a small self portrait that I had forgotten about.

Painted on January 3rd 2000 in the Magical Town of Crikcadoon,…I used acrylic on canvas for this self portrait, a medium I rarely ever use, however it does work well for quick sketches.


On the same day, I painted three self portraits….As you can see in this second painting, I have used the same palette and am wearing the same hat…


So why is it that every now and then, I paint myself?

There are several reasons, but most importantly it gives me the opportunity to really ‘see’ and understand myself more fully which leaves me better informed and sometimes quite surprised:)

For much of our lives we tend only to look at the vaneer….how we are perceived on the outside.    However when I paint a portrait of someone else or myself, my goal is to get beneath that vaneer and hopefully capture the essence of my subject. 

Rapid watercolour/gouache self portrait also painted on January 3rd 2000.


I am also often asked why people are not smiling in their portraits.    Try to hold a fixed smile for twenty minutes or more…..what happens is that the face becomes contorted. 

As my title suggests…..self portraits are the original ‘selfies’ – 

May the magical hummingbirds be with you today.


A Bientôt

16 thoughts on “The original ‘selfies’

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Shimon….Thank you….this was one of my favourite hats, which I lost in the move from Wales to London nine years ago! Another reason to paint self portraits:) xx

  1. First Night Design

    Getting under the veneer is something you do brilliantly, as I know well. By the way, please could you send me a scan of the finished One Man and His Dog as our printer/scanner isn’t working (!) and I want to do a post about it now that I’m up and half-runnng?!

  2. olganm

    Amazing, great hat and great reflections. I always thought about the old photographies when people had to hold the same posture for ages, but of course you’re right, that’s much longer for a painting. The beauty of the portrait is the interpretation of the painter…Unfortunately (or fortunately) digital cameras don’t have much to say…


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