Maryland Pastel Society events




Self Portrait entitled "Self at Sixty" by Bob Russin

Indulge Yourself with a Self Portrait

Many artists focus on painting subject matter they think will end in a sale. Hopefully, there is a buyer out there who will be interested in purchasing your landscape or still life painting, two obvious subject choices for a buyer looking to add to their collection. Maybe you're a portrait painter and have painted many, many portraits of others. Did you ever take the time to paint YOU?

For this month's challenge we're taking a break from what others may want to see on your easel and we're focusing on YOU THE ARTIST as the subject for your painting. Yes, it's time for the self-portrait! Your best model is YOU. You know yourself inside and out so go ahead and completely indulge yourself with this challenge.

Don't like to paint portraits? That's okay. If you like to paint animals, what kind of  an animal would you be? If you like painting still life, paint items that bring you joy or that tell a story about who you are. If botanical paintings are your thing, what kind of a flower represents who you are? If you prefer landscapes then paint YOUR favorite place on earth. If you want to take a stab at painting yourself then set up a mirror and capture the essence of who you are right now. As you can see this challenge is wide open…it's all about YOU!

This challenge is a bit more difficult then some others. You'll have to spend some time thinking about yourself and your dreams, your past, present and future. What made you decide to become an artist? Where do you want to go with your art? How would you really like to express yourself but feel that something is holding you back? Think of the qualities that make YOU who YOU are then convey those qualities in a painting. Let your art express your emotion. For some of us, revealing our true nature is uncomfortable. This challenge is to encourage you to acknowledge your artistic ego, an essential component in artistic expression.

Send your self-portrait results to: and they'll be posted on the Monthly Challenge listing of the MPS web site.

I would like to thank the artists who participated in the January and February Pastel Challenges. Hopefully, more artists will be inspired to join in.
To view results from our past challenges please visit: Pastel Challenges
Click on the thumbnails on the right hand navigation bar and click through the painting results.

Lisa Mitchell