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@GTO. ... @tassieguy .  .... @MichaelD. ... @A_Time_To_Paint ... @Hilary. ... @Melisa . ... @broker12  . .... @Richard_P. .... @ArtGal .... @CBG . @PaulB ... @Julianna ... 
so this was probably my canvas work for a long while. I'm already starting another portrait on wood. some of the stuff here isn't really what they seem to be and they are just glares and reflections of my own body trying to take the photo since I took the shot after varnishing it. in fact, I have a photo of it unvarnished, you might be interested in comparing! so there it is below. I'm glad to be moving on! 



  • Fantastic @shahin, so lifelike, and what a great pose with the cutlass.

  • @MichaelD, last Halloween wife and daughter bought me a silly arab thingy and I wore it and had them take a photo. didn't even ware it after that. I suppose there is a little drama right?:o) 
  • @shahin, thats good to know the story behind it.

    Yes it certainly has drama, and action which makes it a lot different than the usual self portrait. 
  • Superb. @shahin
    I love it!  It’s dynamic and has a very realist look.
    There is only one problem with it though, you won’t be able to get past security with that photo. 😀
  • Best passport photo I've ever seen!  Seriously, this is excellent.  Great realism and really do like the faded edges.  Your expression is priceless.  I like how you captured the intensity of your gaze from the side.  Superb!
  • @MichaelD, it is my ISIS passport photo. such things are normal where I come from 
  • @GTO, dont you think it depends on which airport? sir?
  • @A_Time_To_Paint, its this series I'm watching. if you have Netflix watch it. it's glued my wife and me in front of it for months. it's called resurrection ertugrul. 5 seasons, each season close to 100 episodes. after that, it continues onto another series which an other name "Osman" but the same characters are in it and it's just a continuation. it takes you to those one thousand and one night stories. though it's in Turkish it has subtitles. I thought its just for us middle easterners but I now have an American woman friend and a french woman friend and a bunch more of others with other cultures going crazy through sleepless nights watching it. my present painting is of one of their characters. we are simply hypnotized by the damn series. its about the ottomans. ertugrul is OSMAN's father, Osman is the guy that started the ottoman empire! so, it's historical for sure but with a bit of Muslim propaganda which is to be expected.  it's just the most incredible thing we have ever watch. let me know if you watch it. you have to go through three episodes before you get chained. all this to say, i'm going to be painting like this for a while....:o)
  • @shahin

    Very interesting.  Please excuse my excess of, if not COMPLETE, inaccuracy and/or fantasy...

    It is sometimes amazing what art can do, intentional or not.

    This is not a self-portrait, and not because it is "only" a Halloween picture. 

    First it is not a random unimportant subject.  An artist portrays something of significance to him or her, be it ugly or beautiful, good or bad, the artist finds something about it worthy to paint.  An artist knows painting a random image which has no meaning or purpose is wasting his or her time.  This is more than a meaningless Halloween drama, fit to stay on the hard drive forever.

    Secondly, it is not a self-portrait either.  Clearly we can see that the work does not direct us to ponder a man's soul, contemplate his experiences, or speculate about his feelings or thoughts.  A self-portrait which asks the viewer none of it cannot be a portrait of the "self" who painted it.

    Some viewers may only see a man, a play actor on a stage, enacting some classic play for our entertainment.

    I think this is a parody of a self-portrait, and is in fact a mirror, by which other viewers confront themselves... and as such it is "self-portraiture" of the "selves" who are viewing.

    These other viewers may see a caricature of a human, one which appeals to superficial fear, and irrational stereotypes, perhaps political, religious, cultural or even racial?... one which appears fake (like a play actor) and yet feels genuinely threatening...the man holds a weapon of death with crazed eyes, both of which glint in the sun...

    But the eyes are not directed at the viewer... the man is not threatening the viewer at all, whether in defense or offence, his attention is directed out of the frame to the left.  Perhaps in those eyes, that is courage and concern rather than rage... and he stands in defense rather than in offense. 

    Introspecting upon the fear raised by an ostensively unthreatening man, some viewers may begin to get the sense that the caricature presented by the work is not of the man in the image but the mindless fear awakened in the viewer.  The viewer begins to lose sight of the form of the man in the image, and to see more clearly the shape of his own fear, borne of superficial, irrational, and stereotypical forces of the subconscious.  This is not about that man... its is about my reaction to him...

    And lo, the man's neck stands open and vulnerable... and a ray of sunlight, the same sunlight twinkling in the mad eyes and the deadly blade, falls upon his neck literally, in a slash... so bright and sharp we cannot but be drawn visually to it... that an opening for the viewer's self-defense? 

    ... would it BE self-defense?

    The man is innocent... and non-threatening... why should one stare... at that "slash"... and ponder those... unbidden thoughts.

    And so these other viewers, after having confronted themselves in the mirror, now also begin to see only a man, a play actor on a stage, enacting some classic play while the viewer imagines himself sitting in the theater smiling and reveling in an evening of drama.

    But the memory of the glimpse of the self portrayed in this most unusual mirror... lingers.

    To conclude, this "self-portrait" is a mirror and a disturbing one, but sometimes the most disturbing of mirrors are the most enlightening.

    Whether any of this is true or not, great work!!

  • @CBG,...... who are you?...................................................??
    without a doubt, I'm going to re-read all this in bed a dozen times or two but don't hold your breath, I'm under highschool diploma!
    this is one of those moments that, even if you just called my mother's private parts all kind of names in these paragraphs, I would still want to frame it on my wall and keep it! 
    if there's a question though somewhere in there, please talk to me like I would talk to my 8-year-old and I am happy to share my thoughts about the painting :o
    Once again, thank you for the magical writing! I meant what I said, make it like under highschool diploma and I will certainly answer you and that's not to say I wont be re-reading your comment a dozen times.
  • @shahin

    Thank you so much for the response.

    As for me... I'm a novice without any formal training in art.

    Please rest assured, the above commentary is meant to be praise of the highest order (no insults about your mother) to an artist who clearly can produce sublime works or artistic expression.

    As for your references to highschool diploma...replace "an ostensively unthreatening man" with "a man, to all appearances unthreatening,", and my comment above is definitely restrained to high school reading level. :)

    If you prefer specific questions, I suppose I have three:

    1.  Why the bright slash on his neck?  If it was in the photo you could have chosen to paint it out, but you didn't.  If it wasn't in the photo, why did you decide to paint it in, to what purpose?

    2.  Is the panting really about you, the subject, of the so-called "self-portrait"?  Was that your aim? or is it really about the perceptions of the viewer in the act of viewing the work?

    3.  Generally, was I right? (as far as you are consciously aware)

    I'm very interested in the piece generally.  I think you are a profound artist, and I'm curious if the beauty is intentional, or as Joseph Campbell might say, if it is an unintentional expression of your nature.  Why am I interested?  Because I am intensely interested in the process of art, what art is and can be.. what it it comes about... ultimately because I aspire to produce at least one piece of art one day, not just a photorealistic picture or convincing facsimile of, for example, roast beef on a plate.

    Anyway, Cheers!!!

  • edited October 5
    Thanks for including me in your alert list, @shahin. But, when it becomes clear to me that a member who gets LOTS of feedback is not going to bother helping others by giving feedback on work they (often timidly) post, I find it hard to continue commenting on that member's work. Maybe I have an over developed sense of fairness. But just this one last time, for you, I will say that this is an accomplished and very impressive portrait. I could say a lot more about why this is so, but ...    Well, let's wait and see.  It takes just a few minutes a day to look a newly posted work and to type a few words of encouragement or constructive critique. It makes people happy and folks will think highly of you for taking the time.  :)

    Love your work.  :)

  • @tassieguy, I'm embarrassed! your point is valid. I usually don't like to come up with childish defenses but this time it is the truth when I say I just haven't been able to find people's work! for example, i'm clicking on your name and i'm able to see how many times you liked something and this and that but I just can not find any of your work. I've tried that with a few names before and when I wasn't able to see anyone's work I just gave up. trust me when I say I'm a brutal critique myself for two reasons, 1, I have students and I've grown to act like Mussolini with my tongue in front of them and 2, I just love talking and taring works apart mostly my own with wanting to grow stronger in mind and I always scare away more students out of my class than I care to admit. so, you have found your guy when it comes to critiquing art but at the same time I'm dumber than dumb when it comes to things most people have no problem doing such as finding each other's work. still, would you forgive me? I truly feel bad!
  • edited October 5
    No problem, @Shahin. :) Just click on the sub-forum called "Post Your Paintings" in which you have posted this latest self-portrait.  Each day you will see new work that members have posed in the hope of getting feedback.  :)
  • If you click on a user name, then you can click on 'Discussions' (see below, highlighted in yellow) to see the forum discussions they have started:

  • @tassieguy, thanks for the forgiveness. that much I knew. let me be honest, I'm not one to just click on new work and write stuff. it's because i'm a bit ridged and people who don't know me won't take it in kind. what I really meant is to be able to click on your name and see where all your work is. as @Richard_P seems to be showing me, he has highlighted Discussions in yellow. this however shows which discussions you have participated in right? doesn't necessarily show your own work? I will play with it a bit more. long as we're good you and I and I'm forgiven! :o)
  • @Richard_P, thank you sir. I be playing with it at some point today. thanks very much
  • @CBG, let me give you a full context about me and my relationship with my work, and then I will be talking about that one piece as well. My mentor with whom I haven't spoken over ten years is a communist. more than a full-blown one, more like a theoretician. he's closer to his 90"s. A couple of things have rubbed off, one is a tendency toward the sort of subjects mainly human pain and misery or realities of human hardship. things that are considered critical in the sense of the word; that can be critiqued on a social level!? of course, these are my tendencies but much like someone who doesn't really know how to write, I'm far from even thinking about putting a story to write about. I simply am bad at English if you will and hence having something of substance to write is on the back burner until I learn to write like a writer.  instead, painting to me is only a "learn how to paint" process and maybe here and there a little hint of the "person" behind the work as even practice can carry a bit of "you" in it. you may have seen some of my work. generally, they smell like this tendency toward critical realism or as I tried to talk about; " human hardship." Unfortunately the more I paint the further away I get from that goal of being an author with something to say and I become more and more a student of language! I'm coming to terms with that and I have my good and bad days about it. lately, as I'm reaching slightly new heights "a whole three centimeter" of it, I have had the opportunity to slowly care about the stories of the subjects as well. at the end of the day, I'm 53 this month, I don't want to be 90 when I decide to use my voice. this year seems to be the year for me when I begin to write my story with paint regardless of my readiness in the language. aside from my deeper points that I want to express through a subject or a story pure character also seems to appeal to me. is it because somewhat of what of my more critical notions naturally exist in them? maybe or mostly perhaps. Maybe that is just a beginning toward more complex stories that can be told on canvas. the one I did of my face does seem to be such work. one could choose to see just an Arab face there who is somewhat angry or whatever else the attribute but I personally mean to bring something a little more into it. Something that can be discussed, debated, or felt. by the way here is a link to some of my work and a few demos here and there. . the light on the neck and cheek is one of the main reasons why I chose to paint this one. it is really about studying the light but also there is a little story in it as well. Myself, I imagined the face being near the fire as he stands near flames. a stronger way to have painted it would have been to bring the fire into the background. I got bored. Yes, that streak of light was probably the first reason why I chose to paint this. I don't know if any of this paints a clearer picture for you of my inner psyche. with me, it is about quick little sparks of bits of human expressions that carry still much learning along with a little voice here and there as well. I am planning on working on that voice presently. this whole thing is like being pushed into a well that is bottomless, you keep on falling and falling deeper and deeper into this thing you call art or painting or......and the only thing that seems to be tangible in any form is just the fall itself as everything else about it is changing at an uncalculable rate for your shape changes in the midst of this empty space and the gravity that pulls you each split second in a different form.  I don't know! that was the best I could do in giving you a general answer for all. and this is my little studio for you,.....
  • @shahin

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to write and share your personal wisdom on art and your journey.  There is so much insight and substance in your words.  

    You have vision and voice in your work, well worth contemplating.

    All I can say is "Bravo!" 

  • @shahin I envy your studio, it looks nice and spacious , and those windows.

    I just have the area next to my bed but I make good use of it.

    We do what we can with what we have.

  • @MichaelD, my wife would beg the differ. I have taken and destroyed the home living room and have literally shited in the middle of my house. the flooring is gone, the privacy doesn't exist and we have literally become one with all the students! you can try it for yourself if you like?:o)
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