It's my birthday month, the time each year that I revisit the selfie as a way to spend time with myself and mark the moment. I notice how I'm aging and growing, how I've become sweeter and stronger and more worn in. I also notice how my artist-self is changing, where it feels easier to paint and where there's resistance.
Last year I wrote in depth about how this practice developed and other ways to try it out at any skill level. And I don't think I've painted a face or a figure since then (though I'm probably just forgetting). This year has been a heavy lean into abstract art, and larger work, and I closed down my portrait commission list that had run for the few years prior. All that experience gave me a good foundation of familiarity to start from, but I felt rusty going into this year's sketches. So, to warm up, I started with a series of drawings to get my brain and my hand back in action. Even if your birthday isn't this month, I hope you join me and give it a try too.
Every time I go to draw myself I have the same strange realization: I don't know what I look like. I don't quite think I have aphantasia (the inability to picture things in my mind), though over the years I've been quite surprised to realize all the things other people can see (and hear) in their minds that I can't. As a kid I was always quite distressed that I couldn't remember my mom's face when I went to a friend's house and wasn't sure if that was normal. I asked Danielle this week if she can picture her own face and she said, "yes" with a bit of "of course I can" vibe. So. Perhaps you know what you look like? I just can't quite recall for myself.