Book Club – Mixed Media Self Portraits

5 Mar
Mixed-Media self-portraits

Mixed-Media self-portraits

Our book club is reading and working through Mixed-Media self-portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato. We have completed Chapter 1, which is all about the artist’s self-portrait and why we would should consider doing them. 

There was much talk about the history of self-portraits and some of the famous artists that devoted a lot of time to creating self-portraits. Of course, very often it was due to the fact that painting yourself was easier & cheaper to do than hiring models and paying them to sit for you. But sometimes it was about ego, sometimes it was about self-reflection, sometimes it was about exploration, and sometimes it was about self-promotion. I’m pretty sure nothing much has changed about this. 🙂

Part of Chapter 1 shares some current artist’s self-portraits and essays about their work and their process.  It does require a brave person to share your flaws, your accomplishments, your fears, your dreams, your issues, your emotions, your SELF, with all the world.  How much of our self are we willing to expose to public scrutiny? How honest will we be with our viewers?

Which brings me to my next point – how does our self-perception differ from other people’s perceptions of us? And is one more accurate than the other?  I’m pretty sure that most of us would not recognize ourselves were we to look through somebody else’s eyes. I remember doing an exercise for a college class I was taking. We were supposed to write down how we saw ourselves. Then we were supposed to ask family or friends to share how they saw us. And then compare the two versions. I think it was quite enlightening for most of the students, and also somewhat surprising what was revealed.  Perhaps this an exercise worth doing again?

Have you ever created a self-portrait? Did you like doing it? What did you learn about yourself? Please share your thoughts.

The next book club meeting is on March 28th at 1pm. You can join the discussion in person or here on the blog.  We will be reading Chapter 2 of the book pgs 36-73, and doing the exercises. 


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA




14 Responses to “Book Club – Mixed Media Self Portraits”

  1. March 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I did a self portrait and it was fun and very revealing.  I found that I have more bags and sags than I really thought I had.  It was fun to change myself into what I wanted, like the purple hair.

    Kaye Evans

    Ogden, Utah


    • Deb Prewitt March 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

      That sounds fun Kaye. I think you could have a lot of fun with changing up who you are to who you want to be. There is certainly more than one kind of self-portrait that can be done.


  2. Lelia Guilbert March 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Ohhh, Deb,

    Did I miss the first meeting? Must not have read your last messages! I am putting the next meeting on my calendar and will plan to do the Chapter one exercises before March 28.

    Thanks for this message. Lelia Guilbert


    • Deb Prewitt March 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      Hey Lelia, I had thought you were coming to the meeting too. We missed you. We will see next time. 🙂


  3. randomrose March 6, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    I just got this book from my library and am enjoying it. I am trying to get the courage to start a self portrait (just sketching) but I go to the mirror and it is a weird experience. I realised I don’t really and I mean really look at myself. It is not easy to do.


    • Deb Prewitt March 6, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      I notice that I don’t see myself very often either. When I see photos of myself I am often quite surprised at what I look like. It is not who I see inside my head. 🙂


      • randomrose March 6, 2014 at 11:54 am #

        That is so true. Who we are to ourselves is not that person in the mirror. As I get closer to attempting a self portrait I wonder who the real me is…? 🙂


        • Deb Prewitt March 6, 2014 at 11:56 am #

          And the real me changes all the time! I am certainly not the same person today as I was 5 years ago or 10 years ago, and I certainly hope I am different than I will be in the future.


  4. Lynnita Knoch March 6, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    I did do a self-portrait last year for our quilt guild’s challenge. I see myself as 30ish (actually in my 50s), so I used a photo from that time period to create it ). I also created multi-colored hair (I have black hair with a few well-earned gray strands). It was fun and I want to do another one at some point. But it was hard to get started!

    In the last year, I see my sister’s face in the mirror – the first time that happened, I did a double-take and wondered where she was (she lives in Ohio and I’m in AZ!). It still surprises me at times! My parents have commented how much we look like each other anymore! It’s weird!

    I posted more comments on my blog (


    • Deb Prewitt March 6, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      It is funny how our looks change over the years. I see my sisters of course, but I often catch glimpses of my mom these days too.


  5. Joy Hellman April 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    let me know when you are starting your next book I want o join I wanted to do this one but would be coming in too late..


    • Joy Hellman April 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      I did order the book will follow as so I get it…


    • Deb Prewitt April 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      It will be announced here when we start the next book. I haven’t quite decided which book to do yet. 🙂


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