When looking for a willing model, the most willing is often the artist themselves. I felt a bit awkward painting a self-portrait when I first did one about seven years ago but there was an art competition I wanted to enter that required one. Since then I’ve done about one a year and am much more comfortable with the process. I’ve found it a good way to document my progress as an painter. Here’s a picture of my first effort back in 2012. Hopefully you’ll notice an improvement in my recent work when compared to this one.
My most recent self-portrait (main picture), painted last year, is the most important one to date. Here’s the story behind what inspired me to paint it.
It shows me about to reach 38 years of age. It’s a significant milestone as it’s the age my dad was when he suddenly died (I was 3 years old when it happened). Growing up without him is all I’ve known and despite the loss I’ve had a good life, but he’s never been far from my thoughts. As I approached the age he reached and also having become a dad myself in recent years, I found myself thinking about him more than ever.
He was a graphic designer, artist and massive Spurs fan. I am a graphic designer, artist and massive Spurs fan. I’ve always felt close to him when painting and, as trivial as it may seem to some, my beloved football team gives me a real connection to him. In the painting I’m looking back over my shoulder, acknowledging the past, but my body direction is facing forward, heading towards a future full of possibilities and one that my dad was not able to fulfil himself.
My hope is that art will play a significant part in whatever comes along and that maybe, just maybe, Tottenham Hotspur enjoy some glory, glory years!
Thanks for reading!