Thursday, May 8, 2014

Slow-cooked selfie

Today marks a big step.

Students I work with will begin their formal self portraits that will show at a festival and a gallery later this month.

They're young adults with developmental disabilities, and once a week I frustrate them no end with my take on art. For weeks we've been working in charcoal, a medium made maddeningly complex by its simplicity. We've been practicing line and shape and shadow and light and blending and full-out making mistakes — the last of which I preach above all other techniques.

Each week I try to walk my talk, demonstrating the next step and happily making mistakes along the way.

This is the week's result, in which I finally followed the Law of Leave Well Enough Alone and stopped before one more mistake could do me in.

It's based on a photo Dan Simonelli snapped of me during his guided tour of La Jolla Cove's wonders last month. I wish a sea lion had really photobombed me, but that's artistic license; one swam beneath me, so I'm giving it its due.

The students I'm helping are adding to their portraits things they love, so here's mine.

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