© 2018 by Doug Driediger.

"52x8.5x11" (52 Self Portraits), 2007

Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Mixed media on wood panel, 11" x 8.5" each

Click on the selected painting for an enlarged view including title and details.

This series began with a decision to create a self-portrait a week and then share the results via email with a small group of friends and family for the entire year of 2007. Descriptions of technique, as well as the circumstances or motivation behind that week's image usually accompanied each portrait. As more and more people began requesting to be 'put on the list', my subscribers grew to nearly 300 (known) people by year's end. Through these shared introspections the normal gap between artist and viewer was removed, and I enjoyed many deepened relationships with my audience as we shared our stories.

 

The portraits themselves are highly diaristic. I challenged myself to work within a fixed set of ‘rules’ (a common wood support, a common 8.5 x 11” size) which enabled me to create a space where I could explore: past selves, future dreams, prayers, fears and maladies. The results are diverse and experimental. Artworks are abstract as well as representational, subtle and often intimately detailed. My creative toolkit included such unconventional media as pomegranates (seeds and juice to make pigment, rind for collaged texture), shots of espresso, pine needles, silver wire, markers, ball point pen, and a sharpened bird feather quill - to name only a few.

 

Although this series is inherently autobiographical, it also speaks to a larger, more universal understanding of the complexities of self. To read the weekly narratives that accompanied each artwork, please download the full collection here.