About Face

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About Face work in progress
Paul Hutchinson
oil on board
2014

This is the most recent self portrait to date and also the largest. I have done larger-than-life portraits of both my parents and one of my partner Dale Copeland. One of the problems of larger than life portraits in my experience is that they have a tendency to look "mean". But I was keen to try painting at a large scale again after so many years painting small scale work. I've also been fond of the Francis Bacon portraits which were nearly always painted as triptychs. I started this work as a diptych on two large panels as I wanted to use bigger brushes, lots of paint and see what developed.

When I am painting and studying the subject intensely I quite often find myself closing one or the other eye. I think a lot of painters experience this.
Occasionally I catch myself in the mirror like that and I have done one or two small self portraits with one eye closed and one open. It seemed like an interesting thing to try out in the diptych, having one image with the left eye open and the other image with the right eye open. In total, both eyes are open! Or both shut if you will.

I worked hard to get the painting finished for the Home Work - Taranaki Art Now exhibition at Puke Ariki in New Plymouth.


  1974 - 1983     1984 - 1993     1994 - 2003     2004 - 2014  


Paul Hutchinson lives in Puniho, New Zealand.

email Paul at   PJHpainter @ gmail.com (remove the spaces)

Image © Paul Hutchinson