Wednesday 9 March 2022

30 Days of self-portraits - AFTER THE SHOWER

Hi friends, welcome to the first blog series in a year. It feels good to be back. 

Last month I participated in an art challenge organized by Sheila Delgado. She put together a Facebook group many years ago that hosts a bi-annual creative. The group members agree to create every day for 30 days and share images with the group. Some add a challenge within the challenge and so I decided to paint 30 self-portraits in the 30 days. I’m primarily a sculptor and landscape painter, so this goal was designed to push me well outside my comfort zone. 

This winter we experienced a provincial disaster and we were unable to travel for many months. A week before the challenge I had an opportunity to get out through the pass. I quickly threw things in my van, emergency supplies, floor insulation, mattress and a weeks worth of rations and took off for the coast. The drive on our badly damaged road was slow, but free from the snow and ice that had been plaguing us. It was wonderful to get away. 

It wasn't till I arrived at my coastal hideaway that I realized I had forgotten all my art supplies! I have a huge collection in my home studio and didn't really want to buy more, especially as I was quite a distance from an art store. Sheila pointed out that I could use my iPad and make some digital portraits but I had imagined thick luscious oil paint and palette knives, so this was going to be a real challenge! I madly searched my hideaway for paint and found some iridescent and metallic student paint, huge brushes and a small basic sketch pad. Aye yi yi!

AFTER THE SHOWER by Sea Dean - digital drawing

Created on an iPhone using only one finger. I generally use my iPad for digital work and wanted to test out drawing on a small screen. It’s awkward because your finger covers most of the screen where you are trying to draw.


If you have an iphone go to the notes app. Sorry I dont know about other smart phones, but I imagine they have something similar. Click onto a blank page. Top right click on the tool with a pen point and lower right a pen will pop up. Click on this and choose a drawing tool. There is a pen, a highlighter, a crayon, an eraser, a line rule and a return one step tool. There is also an apple pencil tool and another which I haven't figured out. Doodle with your finger or stylus (I use my finger). If you vary the pressure it varies the width of the line. Try them all out and play. My fave tool is the highlighter.

Once you understand how that works click on any colour dot, each drawing tool can use any colour. If you click the tool twice you can change the intensity and width of line. This is how you can get interesting layers and fill in with that highlighter. Finally if you click on the multicolour dot a whole host of other colours pop up. The variations are endless.

Let me know if you create something. You can send it to me and I’ll post it.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

30 Day Creative Gathering - Taster

Hi friends,

I’ve just completed a month of soul searching, self-portrait painting. Phew! What a task. Many of you are fellow artists, who also took the daily painting challenge and set personal achievement goals (you know who you are). This month I will be sharing some of the over 600 fabulous works that were created and also taking you through my journey.

Organizer extraordinaire, Sheila Delgado has asked me to post my three favourite self-portraits in this opener blog. That is almost more difficult than painting them. I love them all, they are my children and my family and the selection changes daily; however, I have to admit that some, like cream on non homogenized milk, have risen to the top.

As this was an experimental journey and I am so far, nit a portrait painter, I tried different styles and media. I tried to select one from each similar area. I will go into more detail on how they were created in a later blog.

My favourite realistic self portrait was day 14 and it also proved the #1 choice of participants in my poll. I titled her EXPECTATION. Funnily enough it is probably the one closest to how I see myself, a sort of improved portrait artist view of who I really am.

EXPECTATION artist Sea Dean 9” x 12”

My next favourite is a bold abstract. You only have to look at my house to see how much I love black and white. In painting I tend towards bold colour, but here I forced myself to stay pure and I love the result. 

BEING HUMAN artist Sea Dean 9” x 12”

And the third choice is one that only received two votes in my poll and one of them was mine. This is a digital work that evolved over many days. It has a great likeness and I love that it makes me into a multi faceted magical queen like figure, which is very much like I see myself (on a good day). The neck area still needs a bit of work and I will remove the light aura halo, but I find it very unique to me and inspiring.

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT artist Sea Dean, multi size

Here is a collage of my 30 self-portraits in chronological order, so you can see how I developed over time and where we are heading this month. 

30 days of self-portraits by Sea Dean

Monday 7 March 2022

30 Day Self Portrait Challenge

I’m going to blog a little bit backwards this month. First I will show you a collage of all the work I’ve created in the last 30 days, and then over the next few weeks I will take each painting in chronological order and explain a little bit more about it. 

First an explanation. For the month of February I was part of the 30 day creative gathering on Facebook. This group has gathered for many years every six months to challenge each other to create art daily. We usually make it more interesting by setting goals and this time around I set the goal of creating a self-portrait each day for the entire 30 days.

At the end of each challenge each one of us creates a collage of the work that we have created during that time, so here is mine. I posted this collage in the group and on my newsfeed and asked for votes on which was the viewer’s favourite. I had already chosen my favourites, but was curious if I was on the right track. From the start there were several clear favourites, but what was most surprising is that 17 of them had 0 votes. Great feedback!

Here are the results numbering left to right, top to bottom
#4 - 7 votes, #14 - 7 votes, 
#15 - 5 votes, #24 - 5 votes,
#16 - 2 votes, #20 - 2 votes, #23 - 2 votes, #30 - 2 votes
#5 - 1 vote, #10 - 1 vote, #11 - 1 vote, #13 - 1 vote, #19 - 1 vote

Now I can reveal my favourite is #30 at the top of this post, with #14 a very close 2nd choice.

Which is your favourite? I would love to know.