40 x 50 cms
Oil on linen canvas
One of two paintings accepted for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2020 - which is normally held at the Mall Galleries, London but this year was online November/December 2020. I am thrilled that this painting was chosen by art collector Mervyn Metcalf! (The other painting is 'Better With or Without?' chosen by singer Beverley Knight.)
I revisited and completed this double self portrait in the Summer of 2020. I had initially been fairly subtle with the shadow of the little girl (from the photo) which was cast on the wall behind the grown up version of me. I felt the reference to the shadow in the title of the painting would suffice to make the point that the shadow is significant and a clue to the meaning of the painting. However, I began to realise that, unfortunately, a fair amount of viewers overlooked the shadow altogether.
This Summer I revisited the painting. I have repainted the shadow on the wall, strengthening it in the process and hopefully making it more prominent. It is now looming over me and dominating the painting as was my original intention.
Background: I had been considering painting another self portrait - this time in oils - but I wanted to paint more of a conceptual piece than the holiday snap in my previous selfie. The title 'A Shadow of my Former Self' came to me first, and then it was a case of finding the right photograph of me as a child. I was happy to find one with a bow in my hair as the shadow in the adult selfie had to be clearly mismatched.
A deliberately dark double self portrait, happily now counteracted by the much lighter and updated 'A Little Self Reflection: 2021'