Self-Portrait of the Artist by Barbara Sparhawk

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Pastel, conte crayon, chalk, charcoal on brown butcher paper.
I remember so distinctly the moment I did this. I was living in my old carriage house in Brooklyn, and had a wonderful studio on the ground floor. I was in love with somebody who wasn’t being attentive enough to suit me and driving me nuts. I had been running in circles, upset and in a rage, screaming, crying, ready to kill, and I thought it can’t be me… WHAT IS HIS PROBLEM? he should be all over me! do I look funny?…and well…what the hell do I actually look like?
So I pulled up a chair under a spotlight, set up a big mirror about ten feet away, and hit the paper running with a handful of colors.

I think there was something seriously wrong with the guy.


artist, chalk, charcoal, color, contecrayon, disappointment, frustration, love, paper, pastel, portrait, rage, romance, self, spotlight, studio

Professional Expressionist, portrait painter, writer, children’s book illustrator, entrepreneur, and adventuress.

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  • SandeElkins
    SandeElkinsabout 6 years ago

    Evidently he was blind and an idiot~beautiful woman and beautiful portrait. Love the energy in this-so gorgeous!

  • My thinking exactly about the fellow. And thank you for your wonderful comments always.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • billyboy
    billyboyabout 6 years ago

    OK, so the guy was a butthead. You’re better off without him. Having said that, you put him to great use as he fired you up enough to make your passion burst out to create this wonderful piece of art…

    I can just picture you grabbing everything in sight capable of putting color on paper, chucking the pork chops over your shoulder in a rage and flattening the wrinkles out of their wrapping, and setting to work with mad abandon… till you finally throw yourself back in your chair to gaze at what you have just created out of pure frustration and perhaps even a tinge of hatred… and a wry smile curls up the left side of your lip, which you’d inadvertently cut with your fingernail when you flicked your hair back, as you contemplated the masterpiece you had just finished and what it represented. THAT was the moment you realized you no longer needed that jerk and you were free. And in control once again, although tired and sweaty. I hope you had an amazing shower after that.

    See how your art puts such vivid images in my head? You rock sista!

  • You fabulous and darling maniac. Right on all fronts, but feast/famine has been the only constant in my life I could count on and I’d NEVER throw the pork chops over my shoulder. Grease stains may be visible in this. Yes, passion for once put to GOOD use.
    I can’t stop laughing from what you wrote. Thanks BillyBoy for every second of it.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Sharon Perrett
    Sharon Perrettabout 6 years ago

    Wow gorgeous work,some men can be such fools, I agree with billyboy he did you a favour in the end , this is fantastic, I can see the emotions in your face. Brilliant

  • Yes, Sharon. We’re all idiots in love, it must be the DNA of romance. Many many thanks for your kind words.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • whisperingruth
    whisperingruthabout 6 years ago

    LOLOLOL! I LOVE what you wrote here Barbara……I can’t comment in public what I’m thinking……this one will be worth a phone call my Precious Friend!! I can really see the apprehension in your expression here Barbara…….you a true Master of your craft! Love to you Gorgeous!! XXXOOO

  • Ruthie, you sweetie. It’s part of the wonder of this place really, being able to write a bit about the work done, and I try to gather up all the memories and am always surprised so much coming to the fore. Thanks so much, littl Sis. xxooox

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Barssel
    Barsselabout 6 years ago

    Marvellous………………….vital, vivid and full of passion……………well done.

  • Thanks Ade. Great complement from a passionate guy. Well, I’m guessing.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Barssel
    Barsselabout 6 years ago

    “blushing”…thank you

  • alistair mcbride
    alistair mcbrideabout 6 years ago

    All that passion and spirit must have been to much for him,beautiful portrait Barbara.

  • You’re a riot, my friend. I suppose I have driven people away. Sometimes there’s just too much going on. Thanks for the complement, for being on my side.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • rosepepper
    rosepepperabout 6 years ago

    lol. you make me laugh…. this is not the real you, just you digesting an infatuation that had no substance…hehehe. Those eyes and that strong nose are not going to be rattled for long by a that fried egg! ……love it

  • Rosepepper, what a wonderful delightful comment. I hope you’re still around and painting, I don’t know how I missed this from you…but thanks, belatedly.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • AndyReeve
    AndyReeveabout 6 years ago

    Wonderfully pwerful painting.
    Only confirms my thought that I have had for years; long before Men from Mars Women from Venus hit the bookstands.
    Actually there is some ancient writing somewhere (wish I could remember where I saw it) which says The Earth is an experiment granting free will to the human race. Souls where shipped in from all over the universe to start the experiment. Now that just added an abundance of confusion to the plan I would have thought but could explain a lot.

  • Thank you so much, Andy. My apologies for missing your visit all this time. There are many times when confusion reigns, I agree. And yes, Earth sure feels like an experiment to me. Free will is the tricky thing. Not so easy to find in ourselves, or spring into once we find it. I’m so glad you like the work here, I was full of sound and fury at the time, and hands seizing picture making stuff.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Henry VanderJagt
    Henry VanderJagtalmost 6 years ago

    awesome job on this peace of art

  • Thank you, Henry VanderJagt. Very kind, thanks for stopping by.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

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