Shit that sounds pretentious! As if I stood in front of a mirror painting myself and admiring my boobs or something.
But no, I set up a tasteful self-portrait in the apartment in which we stayed in Paris. In the living room was a sofa with a throw over the back which was a tapestry of a Gainsborough portrait. I lay on the sofa in the same pose as the naked lady in the tapestry, as a kind of joke.
I don't as a rule take nude photos of myself. I don't have the bod any more; although the extra curves are probably artist model materials these days! But I was surprised when I looked at the back of my camera afterwards. The photo was artistic, not slutty or sleazy. I knew at that point I'd try and make a painting/drawing of it.
The resulting painting - technically a drawing as it's oil pastels but the pastels are so thick on the paper it's just about a painting - is 6 inches by 6 inches. I might be willing to put a nudey rudey of me on paper but not on a large scale!
Here it is:
Not only is it my first nude but the first time I've painted or drawn a human as the key focus of a painting. I usually do landscapes and still life. Or my cats. I have a great portrait of Hamish MacFlea which is life-sized and captures him perfectly, but I haven't tried capturing the human soul.
Here's the one of Hamish, although it's not going in the show.
I painted this for myself and my Mum; it's not something that's going to sell anyway. I did this one about 7 years ago, when I decided to start drawing again after many years.
So here I am, feeling nervous about putting these two paintings in the show, hoping like hell they get selected for hanging, hoping they sell and hoping they don't as I'm rather attached to them (which is why I will never become a cat breeder, you can sense the Crazy Cat Lady aspect of it from here, can't you?). I doubt they will win any prizes as the competition will be super-fierce - it's a big show - but if I don't try, I'll never know.
If the paintings don't get selected for the main show I have ticked the box to allow them to be selected for the Salon des Refuses, for paintings that didn't make the main cut. It may sound loserish, but it isn't. It gives them another chance at getting a gong and/or a sale.
I'll know in a couple of weeks if they have been selected for either show, or whether I will be taking them home (and putting them in the Hunters Hill Art Show next year!)