Self Portrait

Self-Portrait

Self Portrait

52 Comments on “Self Portrait

    • Thanks, Gail. I just spent thirty minutes, I know, watching your slideshow for the SECOND time around. Just splendid and varied stuff. It is exciting to watch your work.

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      • G-
        I can’t tell you how much that means to me….I really appreciate you taking the time and letting me know you enjoyed it….
        all the Best…
        G

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    • Lance Weisser! Do you mean to tell me that my artsy photograph does not mirror a Käthe Kollwitz etching? I am crushed.

      I am, hereby, publicly commissioning you to paint a watercolor image of me that does suit you. Expect to receive the original working photograph shortly. And you’d better make me look like old Käthe. A few lines will do. I don’t give a damn what it costs either. I am going to advertise the thing all over the Internet if I have to mortgage the farm.

      “Quarter photo booth”….Pshaw!!

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        • Sure. I’ll send it right away. I cannot believe I am sharing such an ugly photograph. I have become as shameless as anybody can get, I think. 🙂 I tried to disguise the thing by “pencil sketching” it in Picasa. Now the real George will have to “stand up” as the old TV program went…”Would the real…..please stand up.” Oh, dear….

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          • Thank you, George. I don’t think it is an ugly photograph at all. And it could be that I won’t be able to add anything… in which case, I won’t. I do think you have done a good job with the image. But it could be, that with my experience, and because we’re all different, I might be able to add something… we’ll see.

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      • It suits me! nononononono, don’t get me wrong. I don’t know anything about photography, or etchings, either. My skills with these things are nonexistent. It’s merely the b&w quality and the pose which reminds me of those times.

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        • I got a good chuckle out of that one, Lance. Somehow, I thought it might suit you now. I really might ask you to paint Rita because you are so very good with birds. If I can find a really characteristic photograph of her. She has a definite personality….unlike, of course, me. 😉

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          • a miniature. on me. iou for all these great postings and the memories they conjure up. just email me her image(s). i’ll get the particulars off you once it’s done.

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            • Ah, now I have to search. I have a thousand photos of that wench, I know. I love it when she cocks her head and gives me that “What ARE you talking about?” look. It truly is as if she thinks I don’t have the furniture in the right rooms upstairs. She is my alter ego if I ever had one. You are too kind, but I refuse a free one. Never mind, I’ll take it. It is not worth the hassle with you to do otherwise. Thank you, Lance. You are a dear man. Incidentally, I don’t think most men are very ‘dear’! 😉

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                • All artists need financial people to sell their work. Otherwise, they’d starve. I know what you mean, however. I always considered that I had simply borrowed an artist’s work. I always told the artist that the piece was his to take back if he needed it. I honestly do not feel as if art can be bought and paid for any more than any creative thought can be bought.

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  1. The first thing I thought when I saw this photograph was this: http://www.annielennox.com/imageViewer.php?image=541 That’s the cover from Annie Lennox’s album “Bare.” I appreciate Shimon’s observation about minimalism. For me, your self-portrait is very stripped down image. Your expression is impassive. We see YOU and you see US (with those wide open eyes). I think it’s fantastic. Personally, I’m very inspired by it.

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    • I’m glad you like it. I liked it. I know it’s something of a caricature to most people. We see what we see. Thanks for the link. I liked her image. I was attempting to capture the same sort of minimalist interpretation of myself when I did this. I like this “pencil” effect better than the soft photographic effect. I am not a “soft” character. I am not stern or lacking in empathy; I simply see the world in a more sharply defined way and not quite as personally as a lot of people, I think. It-is-what-it-is kind of world view, I suppose. Of course, if one sees, he has the responsibility to respond in some way, doesn’t he? It is far easier not to see.

      JC confirmed that he shoots in aperture priority too. I did some photographing in the garden earlier. I liked the results much better without the flash. There is a totally different effect without the artificial light. I used 3200 ISO only because I don’t yet know how to set aperture. I enjoyed the images though. I am indebted to you for your guidance and for your typically polite nudge. (I might have said, “What are you doing? The light here is awful. George! Figure out how to get some natural light going down there!”)

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      • I like what you say about how you see the world in a more sharply defined way. From what I’ve learned about you through your blog and through your comments on other people’s blogs (including my own), I have observed that about you. And yes, it is far easier not to see, but I strongly believe we have a responsibility in this world “to see” and especially to not look away. What angers me on a regular basis in is when people around me choose not to see, and then, in their willful ignorance crush opportunities to bring about meaningful change.

        That’s so wonderful to hear you experimented today with your camera and took some photographs without a flash (well, and especially that you enjoyed it and are happy with the results). Shooting outdoors, you should be able to crank your ISO wayyyy down. I know you have to negotiate the tremor, but you might still try bringing it down a bit, just to see how low you can take it (especially when you’re outside in nice bright daylight).

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        • Well, Lemony, people refuse to see because to do so would invalidate their entire lives and belief systems. I am constantly amazed at the level of blindness I see and hear. The sad thing is that there is absolutely nothing to be done about it. People do not want to hear facts. They see only what validates their own world views. I have no idea how two people can hear or see the same thing and come away with antithetical impressions. It’s a very strange phenomenon that I have watched for all of my life. How in the world is it that a person holds a view or an impression and does not change his mind when he discovers facts to prove that he is mistaken? I give up. 🙂

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          • Oh, yes, the infuriating vacuum of circular reasoning. It is this obstinate ignorance that is the cause for so much suffering in our society. What makes me saddest is when _young_ people embrace and defend their own blindness and brainwashing. This is when I feel most hopeless about the future of our world.

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            • The only thing we can do is to pass along our own determination to make the world a more humane place, one human at a time.

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  2. I agree – Jack Benny, but it seems to suggest another celebrity from that era as well. It will hit me eventually. There is also a feeling of ” what did I do to the WordPress settings now?” . Very well done and creative.
    I am sticking with my icon cat eye. It lets me hide behind the persona. Always wanted to be a comic-bk superhero or a mysterious pulp/radio character. Will have to settle for blogger. 🙂

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    • Shame on you, elmediat! You show the family, but not yourself. You thought I didn’t notice? I use Rita’s eye on FB. Do we have an eye fetish, you think?

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      • Actually for the longest time I didn’t even show family, except for cats occasionally. The other reason is because I am the one with the camera. It is funny, much earlier on Elizabeth was taking just all of the pictures and there were hardly any of her. Now I take most of the pictures and there are hardly any of me. As I approach retirement and move further from my “professional persona” with all the squishy rules about internet accountability & presence, I am gradually revealing myself. Liz did a portrait of me, after doing the one of Alex, Once she finishes the steampunk version of myself I will reveal both.
        You know after she the portrait of me, she did one of a stereotypical romance cover guy,…….. obviously it represented my inner-self. 🙂
        No eye-fetish, we just see things more clearly. You will love this week’s Existential Friday post.

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    • That was just a happy coincidence. You made me laugh with your intrusion of the Jack Benny image into my head! Now, shut up, rich brains. I’m doing my artsy old woman gig here. I don’t get no respect!

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    • Maybe a little. In real life, I don’t really look like her. I might look a little like the old woman O’Keeffe.

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        • Thanks, Naomi. I look a bit like your Gravatar, don’t I? I did this a couple of years ago for my grandson. I have no photographs that I like at all. I was trying to do something that looked like me and would tell him who I was after he grows up. The original is not quite so wide-eyed looking. I might as well leave him this one since I am something of an artsy old Drama Queen.

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    • I don’t like pretense. There is shameless old woman here that I like. Not to worry, Pablo. I won’t come in the night to haunt you. I don’t actually look quite this scary in the daylight. 🙂

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    • Actually, the wide-eyed expression is something I do unconsciously to express disdain or humor or irony or anything I can’t say out loud. It used to work, but that was before my cheeks joined my chin in a sort of sad resignation. Now, I go around grinning like a damn monkey so I don’t look mad at the universe. How the cheek fell down is a good story by itself. You can’t make my life up if you tried. Thanks for visiting me even though I fussed at you. I worried a bit about that. When it comes to you, I just can’t help myself. Dealing with you is like trying to push a child prodigy to practice his violin!

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  3. You are amazing again dear George. This is so nice. I love it too… Creative work. Thank you, have a nice weekend, with my love, nia

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  4. what a great picture. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall while you were taking your own portrait!

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    • Now, Elisa, this is one photograph that won’t bear dissection! Leave it to you to visualize the process. Believe me, it was not easy. I had to balance the camera in one hand and try to look cool at the same time. Now that you remind me, I wonder why I didn’t laugh.

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  5. That looks a bit scary, George. You sort of look hypnotized – as if you are watching a venimous snake and don’t dare to move your hand. I feel anguished. It is very artistic – but rather frightening. (I purposely haven’t read the other comments yet. I didn’t want them to influence me. I’ll do so now.)

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    • Lady D, I think you got it just about right. I look as if I’m staring down a Cobra. I think I may have been staring down that guy all my life.

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  6. Nice photograph , George.
    If you think ,it shows the ‘ essence ‘ of you , then it is a great portrait as well.
    After all , a portrait is not about the lens or the light or the background, it is about the essence of personality.
    And your choice of ‘ black and white ‘ , makes it even more likable.
    Congrats !

    utham

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    • Thank you, Utham. You are correct. I didn’t much care about the technical aspects of it. I just wanted to leave some image of myself that I thought was accurate. I did it for my grandson.

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  7. Yes, the eyes do look as if I’m opening them too wide. I thought so myself. I was trying to open my eyes so I didn’t look Asian. I have droopy eyelids from having the unfortunate habit of rubbing my eyes all the time. My ENT specialist, who is about my age, agreed that I won the stretching of the eyelids contest we had one day for fun. This was a couple of years ago. I was doing a Kathe Kollwitz pose. I love her work and her self-portraits. I took the dog clippers to my hair in front. I cut a patch out accidentally and then did it a second time! I had to have the hairdresser to cut it all off. For a time, people stared and looked away as if they were thinking I was some poor old chemotherapy patient who had lost her hair. What you see is the real person. I have a sort of determination or a kind of genetic strength that I think you see here. Life lived close to the bone, as I say, is apparent. I do not close my eyes to anything ever. That makes life a bit difficult at times, but I am compelled to see. Of course, this is not a pretty picture, but that was not my intent. I am happy you like it. I too wish you lived closer. There is nothing I would like more than to sit for a portrait with you, Shimon.

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  8. I really like this self portrait, George. It may seem a little minimalistic, to someone who is unfamiliar with this style… and your eyes seem a little forced, as if you wanted very much not to blink… or to let them be seen… but the expression really seems true, and unlike the icon photo, there doesn’t seem to be any distortion of by the lens. You mentioned in a previous post that it is hard to get a good picture of you, and I remember thinking, too bad we don’t live closer to each other, because I would love to do a portrait of you. But here, I think you caught something really essential about your personality… and I, for one, just love this picture.

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