Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Last Saturday, May 20 2017, was National Drawing Day. I had been planning to do some plein air sketching in Knocksink Woods but there were a few downpours and I also had a birthday cake to make, so the kibosh was put on outdoor drawing. However, while doing my morning ablutions, I was enamoured by some of my curls and decided to do a quick self-portrait before brushing my hair. This is the result:

I have been thinking of doing a regular bout of self-portraits, but just haven't been motivated to start! For a brief period before my daughter was born (15 years ago!) I tried doing a daily self-portrait, but once I became pregnant, my drawing regimen lapsed. But at the beginning of that attempt I think I look a bit tentative about the project of self-portraits in a brand new sketchbook. This charcoal pencil sketch from August 9 2001 has holes speckled on the face because I later used the closed sketchbook as a semi-hard surface when I was piercing holes for bookbinding!

The pencil sketch on August 10 2001 also has numerous holes in it. It took me awhile to figure out what the things were in front of the mirror, then I remembered I was in a different house at the time, the mirror was above the fireplace and they were objects on the mantlepiece.

This pencil sketch is from August 13 2001, and again, because it is at the start of the sketchbook has holes in it. It must have been a warm day because my hair is tied back.

On August 14 2001 I was outside with a mini mirror on the window ledge, and obviously more interested in the fuschia.

On August 15 2001 I was interested in a continuous line, which stylised the drawing.

I remember this taupe t-shirt from Canada with the stylised deer, under one of my favourite items of clothing at the time - a denim shift dress. This pencil drawing is from August 16 2001.

A week later, August 20 2001, I was wearing my denim dress again. I loved my blue fish earrings, a gift from one of my Canadian friends. I lost one, but still have the other.

In this sketch from August 22 2001 I was trying to include a bit more of the room. The image behind me is a sketch of an oil painting of tulips that I had done in 1980. One of my earliest works that is still in existence!

This sketch is also from August 22. I know I was outside with the mini mirror because my glasses have gone dark.

This pencil sketch is from September 19 2001. I was starting not to feel well, but I didn't realise yet that I was pregnant.

By time I did this pencil sketch on October 27 2001, I had let all my family and friends know that I was having a baby. Later I was so grateful that my morning sickness only lasted for the first trimester -- one of my aunts had told me she had morning sickness for 9 months with each of her 5 children... I was never actually sick, but constant nausea all day prevented me from eating anything other than porridge and dried apricots. I remember it well.

On May 14 2002 (a week before my daughter was born) I commented on feeling Yoda-like while I tried to draw!

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