Self Portrait with Gershwin

James Albon


During lockdown I tried to paint some self-portraits, which in the past I’ve always avoided. My own familiar head becomes alien to me, the subtleties of the contours and edges of its form seem to shimmer and shift position every time I look at myself, and I struggle to recognise myself in the expression of intense concentration that my face displays with the effort of the drawing. After dozens of attempts, I’m sure I’ve finally captured it. Then I show it to my friends, and they say, “Oh, I don’t know, it’s not quite right”.

It sounds cliché to say “I hope next year returns to normal” when on a global scale, so much has been wrong with the world for so long, but I’m sure that if we can return to a day-to-day life without anxiety and cautiousness, our global problems will be easier to deal with