It’s Selfie Day! Self Portrait #16

sp 16 comp 2

Vanessa Bell is best known as Virginia Wolff’s sister, but she was a talented artist and an integral member of the Bloomsbury Group.  Their art was out of fashion for awhile, but has been rehabilitated by the Art World.  It has, as the Tate says, an “unforced simplicity”.

sisters color

The presentation for this magnetic poem was inspired by Ken at rivrvlogr, who added a color background to his poem this week.  I used the eyedropper in Photoshop to lift colors from Bell’s portrait, and then scribble a colored ground, selecting and adding the words on top.  It’s a great idea, that could lead many places (add to the list of things to explore…).


I wanted to do a watercolor portrait for World Watercolor Month, and I think I’ve gotten the feeling of Vanessa Bell’s painting, if not a resemblance to me.  I drew the first one in pencil from the mirror, then painted it.  For the second attempt, above, I worked larger and just painted using the first painting and Bell’s painting as references.  It doesn’t really look like me either.

Teresa is on medical leave from her blog, but she did post a reminder as the host of selfie day.  If you want to participate, see how, here.

And you can see all 16 of my self-portraits so far here.

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28 responses to “It’s Selfie Day! Self Portrait #16”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Wow you did a nice job. Faces in any type of paint just creep me out and I’m unlikely to try one anytime soon. My own face, even moreso. (Haha and way more creepy). I think you’ve translated the style wonderfully, great job. I didn’t know Teresa was out on medical leave, I just thought she was tied up with her projects. I hope she is ok. Thanks, Kerfe.

    • memadtwo says :

      Oh, I was kind of teasing about Teresa. I know she has a lot of projects, but also she mentioned that her arm has been bothering her and she wanted to rest it.
      Painting portraits is hard. Watercolor is especially a challenge I think, there being no do-overs. With gouache or acrylic you can always paint over what you’ve done. But challenges are good!

  2. Cathe says :

    Vanessa Bell – how refreshing, and your stylized portrait.

  3. ChinGum says :

    You there are Lucky`1.

  4. Jodi says :

    very cool stylizing! Love it!

  5. rivrvlogr says :

    Excellent. The placement of “two” works very well.

    Once I was able to “eyedrop” all of the background, I inverted to copy the magnets to past on a new background. However, first I had to play with brightness and contrast to get the eyedropper to grab just the background (even at the lowest tolerance).

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks for the inspiration!
      I just boxed and selected each word out, but with a long poem that would be tedious. I was unable to get the selection tool to work well enough on the background, even at high contrast. There’s other strategies to try, but this seemed easiest.

  6. memadtwo says :

    Your painting skills are growing. It does kind of resemble you. It catches your spirit, I think. I’m going to try a selfie later today at work. Drew Hillary during a pause on 60 minutes, I’ll post that too. Stay cool, it’s like an oven out there.

  7. merrildsmith says :

    I like the sisters poem and the portrait.
    Also, it does give the magnetic poetry an added dimension to add color.

  8. Susan Feniak says :

    I very much like your rendition of an interesting style. Nicely done.

  9. Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash) says :

    This is awesome!! 😍I love that you did it with watercolor!! So cool…and super big challenge. I’m impressed how it turned out. Your strokes are always so bold and awesome. Nothing tentative. Really cool!

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Charlie. I never thought about it before, but I think it’s hard to be tentative with watercolor. It’s sink or swim! You have no choice but to commit to something.

  10. artandmoondreams says :

    Lovely paintings. It is such a pleasure to see the inspirations and the results, like peeking into the quiet corner of an artist’s studio. Thank you for sharing these beauties.

  11. DS says :

    I love Virginia Woolf. I love your post, artwork, everything. 🙂

  12. sheldonk2014 says :

    I just had to stop by
    you guys have been on my mind
    it’s really works to see someone else work
    To keep my fire burning
    As always Sheldon

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