Self Portraits in Art Journaling

Roben-Marie Smith - Self Portrait


“I got this!”  That is what I kept telling myself each day until I finally had to hit the studio to work on my Self-Portrait art journaling challenge.  I put on my big girl pants and my magic apron and got to work.  I decided to print a photo of myself onto watercolor paper to use as the base for my portrait.  I brushed on a light coat of white acrylic paint, colored the face in a little with a flesh colored wax crayon and outlined the facial features with a black Stabilo Pencil.

I wasn’t sure what to do next so I glued down some book paper, added stenciling and stamps, more paint and lots of scribbles and marks.  As I worked, I began to see something interesting emerge.  My portrait began to look as if it were “drowning” below the layers.  I was reminded of Ophélie by John Millai.  The painting depicts Ophelia singing while floating in a river just before she drowns. The scene is described in Act IV, Scene VII of Hamlet. Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, commitments and health issues.


Perhaps, subconsciously, I feel like I am drowning with the weight of all these things on me. How interesting to see these feelings “emerge” in my work. Unlike Ophélie, I will rise to the surface, take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

Have a blessed day!


August Theme
Faces, the Human Form & Characters
August 29
Art Challenge: Self Portrait
Journal Prompt:  Mirror Mirror

Ophélie by John Millai

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