Selfies for Summer.
A series of one-per-day self portraits.
The goose is on the roundabout, signalling to all incoming and outgoing Nottingham traffic, that Goose Fair is on its way, as indeed it has been on an annual basis (though admittedly under several very different guises and titles) since 1164. There will of course be no other geese involved than that one, but the traditional carton of “mushy peas” and mint sauce, together with the Big Wheel, and the usual superb selection of golden oldie fairground music, will more than compensate. I myself am wondering around with Noel Harrison’s “Why did summer go so quickly was it something that I said?” on repeat play in my head. I remain a Man with a Song for All Seasons. It can be annoying for people. I had a good summer. Very fortunate to get two pieces exhibited at Thoresby Courtyard Gallery, and one at the Harley Gallery, the latter of which also sold. But I also took time out to set myself a little project: One self-portrait per day, for seven days, posting on Twitter as I went along under the appropriate #selfie hashtag. As my artwork these days tends to be illustrative of ideas, rather than landscapes or figures, I thought it a worthy task to keep my all-important observational skills well-tuned too. And as long as you’ve got a mirror you’ve got a model. Above is one of those seven selfies. I shall post the others to the gallery in due course. Do I have any tips? Yes. Firstly, if working from a photograph, be sure it’s a photograph you yourself took. Otherwise it’s as others see you, and it’s their work. Secondly, when painting the second eye in a portrait, keep looking back at the first, more so even than the model or the photograph, because although the eyes are not the same, they do have to match. Thirdly, if you do decide to highlight the eyes, be sure to place the highlight in the same place on each eye, regardless of what the photo might be telling you. Otherwise the face can look “cross-eyed”. Lastly, everyone tells me I look stern; in my self-portraits. It’s not deliberate. It’s just that I’m concentrating on what I’m doing. But you might want to be aware of that when posing. Artwork and text copyright Ian Gordon Craig.