View Full Version : Self-portrait, Meditating For Peace (Thank-you, Nathan)

09-27-2001, 07:03 PM
Inspired by Nathan's recent drawing series, I got out crayons and construction paper to try to do something parallel to his efforts. After three attempts, I abandoned the crayons (just couldn't get the saturation of colour I wanted for this image) and switched to oil pastels (on yellow construction paper).

Sorry, Nathan! Turned out nothing like yours (even with blunt instruments I fight for control :O)). However, it was a very educational exercise in a medium I've never used -- other than in collaborative drawings with my children.

I still may try to do something looser and in the darker colours you seem to have success with.

09-27-2001, 07:10 PM
Allen...this is a departure for you...
and still very well done...
how do you do a self portrait with your eyes closed?:D

you use the colors well...
you should experiment with this more...

interesting...I have done things with my children too...
took their scribblings...
saw something in them and brought them out...
they are packed away somewhere...

keep on with this...

09-27-2001, 07:18 PM
ginia: I KNEW someone would ask how I did this with my eyes closed. Didn't figure it would happen in the first post :O)
I agree that this is something I should pursue a bit more. It's a nice stretching of my paradigm. The way I draw with my children: we each start a drawing, then after a few moments, pass the drawing to the person sitting to the right (or left) and keep repeating. It's a fascinating and fun thing to do. Teaches the kids collaboration, too.

09-27-2001, 07:58 PM
Soooooooooo I caught you. You have help with your paintings? LOL HEE HEE Can you send a kid or two here? :D

I like it alot. Hey can you teach me how to do folds in clothing. You can email your secrets I won't tell anyone *S* I'd like to work on the last paintings folds. I'm not thrilled with them.

I like this drawing, painting. What do you call it using pastels? Hey So I'm new to this art thing. Kill me *S*:evil:

09-27-2001, 08:44 PM
really stunning face and detail

your talent is as obvious as ever
more painterly than usual and that's good
i am unsure about the frame around the outside

09-27-2001, 09:26 PM
Hi Luvy: My kids are very good, actually! They draw and paint so spontaneously, it's a joy to watch. I replied to your e-mail about drawing / painting folds. Hope it helps. I guess this is an oil pastel "drawing".

impulse: Thanks for commenting. Don't quite know what you mean by "the frame around the outside". This is a vignette drawing on yellow paper...

09-27-2001, 10:53 PM
fine..... be that way:p

ok that explains it
but i still am not fond
of the yellow frame and wish
the inner and outer backround
area got together a little more

09-27-2001, 11:06 PM
really wonderful......I didn't even wonder about the closed eyes......figured in meditation, all things are possible....;)

Allan, I imagine you would be awesome with the crayons....please try!


09-28-2001, 05:21 AM

Such fabulous expression, even without eyes!
And the colours are gorgeous!



09-28-2001, 09:27 AM
Excellent work. Especially like skin texture, use of light on it. Viewer "feels" power of meditation.

09-28-2001, 10:05 AM
Hey implulse: Sorry.. did I sound peevish? Didn't mean to if I did (damn cold words in cyberspace!). I truly appreciate your comments; was attempting to clarify your point about framing the piece. Should I extend the oil pastel out to cover the rest of the yellow paper, rather than leaving it as a vignette.? Would that help with the disconnect you feel?

pampe: Thanks for the kind comments. I really intend on doing some work with crayons.. just need to find the right images.

Helen: Thanks, sweetie. You always make me feel like I've posted something relevant.

Sue: Thanks! There's a type of meditation called Tonglen (taking in pain and sending out peace) that one can use in troubled times. That's what this piece is about.

09-28-2001, 10:37 AM
Allanom, There is a blind artist. www.blindartist.com Saw her on the Oprah show. Check her out Maybe you should try it with your eyes closed.

Didn't get the email. :confused:

09-28-2001, 11:03 AM
Luvy: I checked out the blind artist's sight. Quite amazing. I only wish they would elaborate on how she applies the paint to ground. They simply say that it's a mystery, even to her. So you think I should give it a try, eh? Maybe I just might! And maybe you should try it too?

Would you mind re-sending me your e-mail address? I copied mine to you on my hard-drive, but didn't keep your original message. And I'll re-send mine it this evening when I get home from my day job. My address: [email protected]

09-28-2001, 11:05 AM
I like how your ears are attached.
what kind of meditation was it?
some metta karuna?
vajra daki?
summa arahung - probably not with kids around.

09-28-2001, 11:25 AM
jerry: Quoting: "I like how your ears are attached." Never quite sure how to take some of your comments. Accept this with equanimity and metta (not dukkha).

As noted above, meditation technique was Tonglen. Sorry, you don't win the prize. But, good guesses.

09-28-2001, 11:28 AM
i guess my feeble humours sounded serious
sorry if it offended
i was thinking to myself that extending the
background and shirt to the edges would
open it up more

but your work is never not good

09-28-2001, 07:18 PM
Hi impulse: No offense ever! I've done a bit of work on the scan with retouch tool, making changes as you suggest.. and like it a lot better. (Fixed the shape of my head and reattached my ear, too :O)) Take a look.. and thanks, eh!

09-28-2001, 08:32 PM
I like the new one also.......but I like the feeling either way....

09-28-2001, 08:38 PM
All I can say is love your work.... :)

09-29-2001, 09:19 AM
pampe: Thanks for the comments. I'm going to finish if off as the scan shows. I think the yellow was a bit too much.

Jan-Michael: Thanks for dropping in and for the compliment.

Nathan Reed
09-29-2001, 12:31 PM


Inspired by me??? Whoa!!!

This is fantastic. I love the seeds of yellow. I haven't tried pastel on construction paper... You have achieved a great picture with it...

Most of the color crayon I have done has been on plain white paper. Maybe try that.

I am flattered that I have made an impact on the direction you have taken with your artwork. Thanks for the tremendous compliment.

:clap: :clap: :clap:

09-29-2001, 10:58 PM
Hey Nathan: Glad you caught this before it passed into the Wet basement. Glad you like it. As I said above, I hope to do some more, with the looseness of yours (don't know if my control-freak arm will permit that :O) -- and I'll make sure (as you suggest) that it's on white paper.

09-30-2001, 12:17 AM
very nice painting, like it.


09-30-2001, 09:01 AM
is Tonglen from naropa institute?
does it have anything to do with ears?

09-30-2001, 11:56 AM
jerry: Tonglen is definitely Tibetan and undoubtedly introduced to North America by way of Naropa and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Certainly a little ears involved, and eyes -- but mostly mind.

09-30-2001, 12:03 PM
Very warm portrait - emotionally moving.

09-30-2001, 05:38 PM
Cagathoc: Very much appreciate your response to the portrait. Thanks!

10-01-2001, 12:22 AM
just perfect allanom

10-01-2001, 02:23 AM
a wonderfully warm self-portrait. control is good ! i admire yours. i can picture you sitting around a table with your children drawing and coloring. that is a great experience for any artist...

10-01-2001, 10:18 AM
ceu: Always appreciate you stopping in for a peek. Thank-you.

McGlaughlin: Very pleased you enjoyed my effort. And I concur that time spent colouring and drawing with children is a great experience -- not only for the children, who benefit from the collaboration element, and get to expand their thinking based on input from others -- but for the artist-parent, as well, as it permits one to jump out of one's usual creative mode to indulge in free form experimentation. And I often involve their grandmother (my mother) and / or any other guests, who might happen to be present, in the group sessions. It's quite amazing to see folks who protest: "But I'm not an artist.." sit down and contribute to a creative effort. And it's usually an eye-opener for them to see themselves colouring or drawing funny stick figures or adding talk balloons to the characters others have drawn.
And in my present situation, going through a contentious divorce, it allows me to address issues that the children raise (most often symbolically/unconsciously) in the safety of simple art making.

10-01-2001, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by allanom
Hi impulse: No offense ever! I've done a bit of work on the scan with retouch tool, making changes as you suggest.. and like it a lot better. (Fixed the shape of my head and reattached my ear, too :O)) Take a look.. and thanks, eh!

allanom, i like it a lot like this
though (like i said) i also liked it before
talent to spare!

Mud Mixer Linda
10-01-2001, 11:02 AM
Blind artist's sight????? Sorry. This is amazingly realistic. How long did this take you. I would have spent a week and come up with something 1/10 the quality. (I see you peeking)

10-01-2001, 11:54 AM
Hi Linda: You may be confusing me with a blind artist referred to by Luvy in her post. After humourously chiding me about making a self-portrait with my eyes closed, Luvy provided the web site of an artist who is blind but manages to turn out exceptionally realistic paintings (I rhetorically wondered why the artist or her handlers would not reveal how she managed this -- more than simply declaring it "a mystery").
However, I thank-you for your compliment on my drawing. I worked from a photo I had my sister shoot of me, intending it to be on the theme of meditation.

10-01-2001, 12:45 PM


10-11-2004, 05:49 AM
Allan, are you still around on WetCanvas?

I would very much like to include this portrait in my college essay (to create an exhibition in an imaginary museum) but I would need to know the size to do so. If it's OK to use it in my essay, could you please let me know the size?

Many thanx, and I hope you are well. :)


10-11-2004, 02:54 PM
Hey Helen:

So nice to hear from you. Haven't been active on the art forums for the last while as have little to show -- just a few commissions, etc. -- been busy with a lot of other things. But just finished a canvas this week and may post it on Wetcanvas, etc.

I'm totally honoured that you would like to use my self-portrait in your "imaginary musem" exhibition. The size is 11" x 7-5/8". Would you be able to send me the URL of the show, once it is finallized? I'd love to see it.

Hope all is going well with you and yours.

With affection,