Monday, 8 March 2010

Mysteries -- Self Portrait

Image © 2010 Gregory Watson

Pencil Sketch, 5" x 7".
So I thought I'd do up a self-portrait. It was somewhat inspired by a pic I saw a long time ago in a Breakaway magazine (a teen mag for boys published by Focus on the Family. I don't even know if it still exists). The feature article was about a Christian teenage artist, and he'd done a self-portrait of him praying, with the perspective being looking up from the floor at him, and the cross around his neck was hanging down into the foreground.

I'd wanted to draw a rosary picture with a similar effect, with the crucifix in the immediate foreground, and decided to feature my own rosary, which my wife bought for me on a vacation in Vermont with her family. She found it in an antique shop! Anyway, it's the only time I've ever seen a Celtic Cross with a Corpus on it, so that's cool enough! Plus, the beads are green and each has a shamrock on it. The medal has a side profile of Mary on one side, and an image of Mary appearing to St. Bernadette at Lourdes on the other. So, having settled on the rosary, I figured I'd make it a self-portrait. Initially, I was going to just draw the rosary and my hand, and call it a self-portrait, but then the hand seemed too disembodied, and the right corner needed filling up, so I stuck half of my face in there. Which had the undesired effect of making it a bit too traditional of a self-portrait for my liking, but oh well.

Lastly, I needed to figure out what to fill up the rest of the scene with, so my buddy suggested making it as thought I'm in a darkened church, kneeling in a pew. So the pew back became the "filler" for the foreground, and a stained glass window fills up the upper left corner. I figured it would be fitting for several reasons to depict in the window, the Blessed Virgin giving the Rosary to St. Dominic. First, obviously, it's a "rosary scene". Secondly, it's a way to feature Mary in the picture itself, as well as thirdly to feature St. Dominic. Being very drawn to Dominican spirituality, and discerning joining the Lay Dominicans, I figured it would be appropriate to include the scene. As well, I've just read and seen too much on the Rosary that doesn't mention St. Dominic at all in connection, that I wanted to correct that.
So yeah, that's the write-up. While the original sketch is not for sale, prints are available. If interested in ordering one, please email me at

  • Full size (5" x 7") limited edition high quality giclée print (unframed): $5.00 (CAD)

  • Full size (5" x 7") limited edition high quality giclée print (framed): $12.00 (CAD)

  • Image on 4¼" x 5½" Greeting Card (blank): $1.50 (CAD)

God bless