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Submitted on
February 2, 2009
Image Size
530 KB


34,390 (1 today)
1,006 (who?)
Self Portrait by Himmapaan Self Portrait by Himmapaan
Self Portrait. A reworking of a very old idea of mine.

Pen and sepia ink, Chinese ink stick, tea and watercolours on hot pressed Arches 300gms/140 Lb.
180 x 260mm.


=Ellygator made the following perceptive comment about this piece, which sums up a great deal of what I had hoped to convey:

'a ... revealing self-portrait that just evokes so much. At first the idea of attaching these gaudy wings to one's own white plumage to be someone one really is not struck me as sad and desperate. Then of course my mind started reverberating with the story of Icarus, or perhaps rather his father Daedalus the master artist and inventor who built the labyrinth and then escaped King Minos' prison by his bold invention of wings. And suddenly the crane's exploit becomes the quest of any artist who seeks to expand beyond the mundane, who will not acknowledge limits and who will use the means of his ingenuity to transcend them.

After that I really looked at the wings and recognized peacock and eagle and blue-jay feathers and loved the idea, that as an artist, no matter how inventive and ingenious we are we always deck ourselves with borrowed feathers, and that's the beauty and the tragedy of it. Western art has always striven for the original as the pinnacle of achievement, and yet we must acknowledge that probably every pose, every story, every color has most likely been drawn and painted by someone, somewhere and we owe a debt to the palace of art stored in all of our heads from unacknoweledged archetypes to the many who have come before us. Then of course there are all the critics and art historians who wish to stick every artist in a book and label their feathers one by one - debt to the 18th century watercolorists, clear drawing ductus that owes to the Italian Reanissance masters, etc...'

The Sanskrit and Pali texts in the bottom left corner say:

Yet to be achieved through perseverence
Steadfastness of purpose

A closer look reveals that the 'labels' don't actually make sense as real labels, of course, but are words which might be pertinent descriptions somehow (provided you can actually read them - they're intentionally made to be difficult to do so)... Yes, I mixed adjectives and nouns in those - they were chiefly what arose on the instant in my mind as I did them.

I don't know why there seems to be a filmy blur. :hmm: Perhaps I need to clean my scanner glass... :confused:

Thank you in advance. :thanks:
Add a Comment:
wwwcine Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
What an ID (idea)!!
wytherwing Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2012
a very beautiful piece!
dormant374 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012
It's all been said, but this is fantastic.
badpicsofbugsetc Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
Everything's been said before, but I'll restate it anyway, because otherwise I'd have to remain silent, which I can't. (Behold, the similarities between comments and art! :)) -

I think this speaks strongly to anyone who's ever tried to create something, anything, which ultimately means everyone. It seems to me that, in an age when so much emphasis is placed on the "lowest common denominator" for the sake of guaranteeing acceptance, too many miss what the denominator actually is. Creative works end up being dumbed down to make them easily consumable. But consumable goods are perishable, and such dumbed-down works cannot speak to people from different cultures or different eras, because they are superficial. They are products of their time and when the circumstances that produced them change, they will be forgotten. Meanwhile, the real common denominator shared by all (or most) human beings consists of certain feelings and thoughts, and if artists manage to tap into those and give them an acute and compelling form, they create art that can outlive them and entrance people all over the world.

Now, I don't want to overpraise you, but I think you're definitely on to something with this piece. :)
Theillst Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
I accidentally favorited the other one, but it's out now. This is a lovey piece, but what I ove most about it is the witing. It's absoutey gorgeous.
One-Life-Recycled Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012
Unique and evocative. I absolutely love this!
Minkymy Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012
This is glorious.
CatDancing-56 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful job.
peachtales Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012
I missed this when you posted it originally. This is beautiful in so many different ways. <3
Auronyth Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Wonderful concept and brillant execution! Top notch art!
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