... is an expression we use in Northern Ireland about someone who thinks they're the bees knees, someone who's really full of themselves and it's an expression I couldn't get out of my head all this week as I worked on my latest painting.
This is why...
|Me, myself and I.|
Now, anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that I paint animals. I rarely paint humans. I mean, I have painted people in the past and I used to do a lot of caricatures but I really just prefer to paint animals.
As for self-portraits, well, I haven't done one of those since high school many moons ago! It's quite weird staring at yourself for extended periods of time while you recreate your own face in acrylics. If anyone should know what I look like then it's me but there's always that fear that folk might look at it and think 'well, she must think she's prettier than she is' or 'does she really think that's what she looks like?'!! Part of me thinks I should make me as pretty as possible - like air-brushing a photo, while another part of me thinks I need to add a few more wrinkles and dark shadows just so people don't think I've got tickets on myself!
Anyway, the reason I even painted a self-portrait is because Sky Arts TV are running a competition - Portrait Artist of the Year and in order to enter you have to submit a self-portrait. If you get short-listed then you are invited to attend one of four heats held this summer in London, Glasgow, Dublin and Cardiff where you have to produce a portrait of three sitters, one of whom will be a public figure.
One artist from each heat will go through to the final where they will take part in two more portrait trials. The work will be hung in the National Portrait Gallery and the overall winner will be given a £10,000 commission to paint Author Hilary Mantel. All of this will be televised and shown on Sky Arts later this year.
Now this is all well and good and, as you can see I decided to give it a go, however, whilst I don't for one second imagine that I will even get short-listed to the heat stage, I'm not really sure what I would do if I did because the idea of being on TV brings me out in a cold sweat, the idea of painting a real life figure in public with people watching me makes me feel physically sick and the idea of both of those things combined is enough to have me running for the hills so I better hope I don't get through to the Glasgow heat!! Still, what a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work for any artist that does get through.
Anyway, I started out trying to do this in my usual pointillism style but it made me look like I had really bad acne scarring so I decided to just paint without any dots other than for the background!
Here's the stages it went through - quickest painting I've done so far as it only took me 5 sessions of a couple of hours each.
I'm linking as always to Paint Party Friday, hosted as ever by Eva and Kristin