i’m working on a new painting series featuring portraits of the past—with my annual self-portrait the first one finished so far. i’d sent mariah a preview and this was her response, a rather interesting question. i don’t really spend much time with mirrors outside of these efforts.

portraiture is an interesting subject to me, because my goal with it is to convey a person’s nature more than their aesthetic. yet in the work i do of myself, it’s more to work on my own technical skills—like whatever i am trying to get correct in how i paint, i figure using myself for that process isn’t wasting anyone’s time. so while i’m looking at myself, i’m rarely seeing myself, and certainly not thinking much on how to convey whatever might be there.

it’s not all absent-minded—for this year’s work, the interplay between background and foreground is certainly considered. the torn-up 2021 piece was appropriate for its moment in my life. but these are more structural changes than actual art work. meanwhile, with the various portraits of others currently in-progress, it’s completely the opposite. funny how that goes.