Monday, November 24, 2008

Self Portrait

Does the drawing on the left look anything like the picture on the right? No? It should. No, I'm serious. It's supposed to be me, but I don't believe it either. There's no way that's me, and what scares me is that I don't know who it is. If anyone recognizes the man in this picture, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

Besides the April 1, 1943, cover of the Saturday Evening Post (the April Fools cover), one of my favorite Norman Rockwell paintings is "Triple Self-Portrait," showing him painting himself as a dashing man with a pipe, when in reality, the mirror next to his easel shows an aging man with glasses. It comments on how we as people fool ourselves into believing we are more than we really are and that we always try to put a pretty face on reality.

Well, that’s the motive I was going for too when I worked on my self portrait tonight. I wanted to draw a picture that actually looked better than I think I do, but the whole thing backfired on me. I don’t know who I drew, but whoever it is, he looks nothing like me. Like Rockwell, I even used a mirror, but translating what I saw in the mirror to my hand and the pencil is a talent that is best left to the professional artists and those caricature drawers at the county fair.

You may begin laughing directly at my lack of talent and the fact that I have to hang this up on the wall in front of the whole class and try to convince them all that I was actually looking at myself when I drew it and not some raving lunatic in an asylum.

For starters, my beady eyes are too close together and have that all-too-familiar look of evil in them, especially that squinty left one. Am I wearing eye liner? The grin looks remorseless, like I just ran over your dog in the street and I aimed for it, and there’s a canyon-sized crease on the cheek that must be the result of getting kicked in the face by a mule. My nose is too small and pointy, crooked toward the top, and my right ear looks like I’ve had a long career boxing and I wasn’t much good at it. My face has marks on it like I’ve been wearing a particle mask for too long, and look at the double chin…nice. Let’s not forget to mention that I’m wearing a giant shirt that’s all stretched out in the collar, which is rock solid stiff from starch and makes me look as though I’m poking my head up through a hole in a fallen tree.

The only thing I think I accurately depicted was the hints of a receding hairline, my ever deepening wrinkles around my eyes and the dark circles from lack of sleep. The white glow around my head, like I’m the messiah, gives it a nice touch, don’t you think?

File this under: Keep Your Day Job, Ryan

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