I hate my stupid face. And I love it, and I hate it.

What is a self portrait: An act of vanity, fantasy, of self-loathing? All? None?

How can we even paint ourselves when we don’t even see ourselves as others do?

Or how can we represent ourselves when so much of our selves is unknown to us? – the subconscious, the denied.

How do we represent what we substantially are, in a superficial world?

There are no answers entire offered here but those are some of the questions I’ve asked in between swearing and silence.

I began this self-portrait ages ago. I painted a relatively realistic rendering of my face, then I painted over it a grotesque charicature, then I painted over this a beautified version.

I’ve now returned to it, and using ‘dramatic’ upwards lighting created a layer over this tending towards the grotesque and the realistic at once in an attempt to balance all three versions in one.

I’m not happy with it, but then neither am I happy with my face. Acceptance is the order of the day.

Lost and found


I remember now that she was sat opposite me and I hastily drew this sketch of her in ink as we conversed. Then sometime later I took a photo of the sketch as it lay on my table, with my notebook alongside it, and used the SketchPad app to scratch in somedefining  light and shade. But I forgot and only when my phone had to be restored to an earlier incarnation did it resurface. It is a fair likeness and a reminder to me to draw more.

Acid reflux 

This is my first attempt at aquatint, which is a process where you erode an etching using different amounts of time immersing it in acid, while protecting elements you want to remain untouched with painted on varnish. You also cover the etching in a fine dust of particles for further texture and definition. 

It’s a nice mixture of crazy science and art. Though how successful the outcome you can judge.

Trunk and disorderly

I love elephants. I just love them. I bathed with one once, she was like a great gentle, playful giant and I was like a rubber duck to her, I suppose. Anyway, I did a sketch of an elephant and tried to transfer it into Lino, cutting away with a little chisel. Here’s a print of that:


Bryter Crater

To begin, I made a collagraph – which is a textured plate to print from – I used glue, sand, and tearing and etching to make this:

I used this and crimson ink to print on paper, then I overlaid a screen of thick tracing paper over the top to play with opacity and definition – (I actually have a further idea of the final item I want to make, it is based on but quite removed from the results here, it will appear here later if I manage to make it…)

print in crimson

At the same time I etched with a pin a sketch of the full moon into a plastic plate. My plan was to print this in black onto the tracing paper but my experiments lacked the definition I wanted, so instead I drew the moon in pencil onto thinner tracing paper and placed it between the print and the thicker paper.


The final print: