Self-Portraits or “The Search for an Avatar”

I need a new avatar…. but the thought of using a photo of myself is repugnant.

So I thought, perhaps I could use one of my self portraits.  “A self portrait,” I wisely told myself, “will show the world how I see myself rather than how I am seen by others.”

I began to trawl through my collection.

Here is one I did about 2 years ago. I quite liked it at the time, but looking at it now, it is a little flat, not enough detail.

No, can’t use this one.

One of my earlier attempts at a pastel self portrait


Then there is this dreadful ¾ pose – this was from my oil painting class last year. It is a combination of trying to:

  • hold the pose;
  • avoid looking like one of Picasso’s women; and
  • concentrate while an unidentified person’s tuneless whistle echoed through the cavernous studio.

Hence the title: “Stop whistling or I will stab you with my paintbrush.”


"Stop Whistling or I Will Stab you With my Paintbrush"

No, I don’t think I’ll use that one.

This one is a sketch done in my drawing class last year. Our teacher asked us to draw three figures on the page. Still reeling from a bad day the day before, I used a mirror to do three quick self-portrait sketches with the idea that each face would show a different emotion. Wow. Dark. Unusable.


Oh dear - having a bad day

Then there is this one. I like it. I think it looks like me. I think it looks a little wistful, a little sad, a little wise* – nice things, I think, for a portrait. But, oh, the outcry when I posted this on Facebook! I received a chorus of “you’re much prettier than that!”, “you don’t look that old”, “it doesn’t look at all like you” and worst of all, “Is this a cross between you and your husband?”


Not pretty - but I like it

So, I thought I would try one from a photo taken by local photographer Nicole Anderson. Here is my painting. It looks like the photo. Nice colours… but I’m not sure I am comfortable with it as an avatar.

Just like the photo... but is it me?


Sigh… Looks like I am stuck with my Twitter picture of a watermelon with a knife in it.

My Twitter Avatar

*This is a cunning deception. I am not at all wise.

To see more of Nicole Anderson’s work:

Post to Twitter


Filed under Portrait Paintings

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