Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Self Portrait

I don't believe that I have ever shared with you that my first love was painting and that at various times in my life I have been quite prolific. During the in-between times my mind was wholly taken up with poetry which filled and satisfied my being.

Creative poetry now seems to have left me high and dry once again ! So I have now returned to my first love once more and have set myself up in our spare room.

In the background are my glass paintings which provide a screen between two rooms.

Here is a replenished supply of my oil painting tools, the tin lid in the foreground is my palette.
I don't believe in wasting money on fancy equipment apart from 
my Peterson pipe and baccy of course - both very necessary to me!

Here is my painting, after twenty-five years of being in the doldrums. 
This is my first ever attempt at a self portrait (minus glasses and wrinkles of course - wink!) 
The background is Co. Clare where we recently holidayed.

Please let me know your opinions in the comments section.


  1. JACK L in Manitoba said: Thanks for sending this, well you certainly are a 'renaissance man'...a poet, a painter, a leader, a Druid, and engineer...a thinker..!! From what I can see you have talents as a painter; nice scene looking out to sea and your choice of colour even reflects to some degree your clothes colour!! Great that you can do all these things.

    1. Many thanks for your appreciation Jack I shall have to buy you a beer when you are next over :)

    2. You may have seen some of my first husband's oils and/or watercolours on my posts, I do put some on from time to time. Your painting couldn't be more different but I do like the quality of light you ' ve got in the picture - not an easy thing to achieve.

    3. Thank you for the comments and appreciation Pat x

  2. I like the look of your vibrant glass paintings in the background; a bit "looser" perhaps than the portrait you are showing us. Very good colours in the sky and sea and your presence is well balanced with the hills of Co Clare. I bet it is good to get the paints out again and see what unfolds isn't it?

    1. Many thanks Rachel and you are correct the glass paintings are a bit quirky to my mind, the idea with those was to let the light through and to give privacy to any person who was sleeping in the back room. I have re found myself using the techniques that I was taught in Art College many years ago.

  3. Great painting! Didn't take you long to get back in the swing of things, did it!

    1. Quite correct Debra all my memories and skills are still to hand. Thank you for your observations.

  4. Rather a sea captain's look to it I do believe, nicely done as well sir. Love the painted glass and the way they filter the light.

    1. John I was in and out of boats before I could walk and then later in lots of other boats. Thank you for the great comments, much appreciated.

  5. I love the and the glass paintings in the background. A man of many gifts!

  6. David J said: Hi Mel
    It is a lovely painting you did, it seems that after so long the gift is still with you, may you paint many more.

  7. Many thanks for your appreciation David and you never what or who will appear in the future.

  8. Ahoy there, Sea Captain! (as someone so accurately pointed out). I am always in awe of anyone who can paint or draw - particularly a self-portrait. How difficult that must be! How can you see yourself? Mirrors are one-dimensional. And do we see ourselves as others do? I guess that doesn't matter - it's your creation, your portrait.

    Such a calm, serene painting, as if all is well. You blend in with the elements; yet you are a separate being and there is expectation in your eyes. Are you looking at the illuminated portion of the rockface? Or looking out to sea, waiting for a ship's return? Hmmmmm.

    It's a wonderful portrait and I admire your talent. I'd take my hat off to you except I hate hats and never wear one - LOL!

    Your vibrant, yet muted glass painting is absolutely stunning!

    Life seems to move in circles, beginnings and endings become one. Sounds like you're happy to be back in the land of paints and canvas.
    Have a happy holiday season!

  9. Hello Wendy, thank you very much indeed for your thoughtful comments. I admit that a self portrait is not easy to achieve and it was a struggle to do, something that once started had to be completed to my satisfaction.
    I am looking out to sea. As I always do; not waiting for a ship to come home. Just observing her, my mother the Sea She displaying all of her characteristics and moods. I feel very connected to her perhaps my poor poem will give you an understanding of my connectedness
    The Sea She
    At night
    I hear her call
    faintly on the breeze
    I taste salted tears

    (in memory)
    I know her face
    is torn
    Wretched as she rises
    on the tide
    near every shore

    Forbidden from its land
    childless this mother
    under the sky

    hungrily she waits
    for you, for me.
    Our Mother
    the Sea She

    ©MRL 30-03 1984
    Yes I am happy to be back painting and another is being planned in my head so we shall see how that ends up eh.
    Seasonal blessings to you and yours.

    1. Yes, I sense a deep connection, yet there is much sadness in your poem. If I may venture out on a limb, I'd say that you had many many past lives living by or in the sea.

      It's a thought-provoking piece of writing and each time I read it, something else pops out at me. Ah ha - I didn't "get" that before.

      When I stare out to sea, it's more of a melancholic feeling - a longing, a pulling, right in my gut (I'd like to say in my heart, but somehow it's more of a gut-punched feeling).

      Strange as it sounds, it's a longing to go home - no matter where I happen to be or what ocean I'm watching and inhaling.

      And, I become Her, as I allow the magnetism of her rhythms to draw me in.

      Can't wait for your next painting - oh and I'd love to read more of your poetry - you do have a gift!

    2. Many thanks for your understanding and generous comment Wendy and I hope that you have a great day !
      My cache of poetry can be found at wordsofaramblingmind.blogspot.com scroll through and take your time there are quite a few there and of different themes :-) Goodbye for now x

  10. I'm not sure quite how I missed this post. Anyway I'm here now. You have two talents that I admire. All the more so, I suppose, because I have neither. I'd have been happy with the ability to paint which passed me by despite my parents and my brother both being talented. I have a degree of aphantasia which doesn't help. I put down my lack of ability to write poetry to my lack of imagination.

    However I do have well-developed emotions so I can appreciate that in your poem (I shall visit your other poems in due course) and in visual art too.

    1. Very good of you to drop by, read my blog post Graham and leave a comment. I get quite a lot of mental images for my two loves, most of which I discard or file away for use at another time.

      Wishing you and yours a very happy new year from me and mine.