Self Portrait in costume 1966 by James Lewis Hamilton

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415 views by 4/16/2012

Featured in “Water Media” group 7/4/11
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I painted this image the morning after a ‘Twelfth Night’ party the Christmas of 1966 while living in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It’s a large 30″ × 44″ piece of Masonite board and I used interior quality latex house paint with added colorants. How I’ve hauled this and a few other painting around all these years I don’t really know. I never considered this ‘finished’, but its impossible to return after the years.
My full costume was as ‘Puck’, with red leotards, a bright striped cape over the white top and donkey ears (now represented abstractly in the painting.
Today what strikes me is the profound shift I’d experienced since ‘the boy in the basement’ self portrait from 3 to 5 years before. I was now an intense, and every day becoming more the nonconformist.


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A persona who has apparently lived a relatively long, varied and eclectic life. My Red Bubble portfolios reflect my seeming persona… and IF there’s any veracity to these reflections then some sense of HUMOUR and enjoyment should be PRESENT!
‘Ola!’ ;~}}}

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  • Deborah Glasgow
    Deborah Glasgowover 4 years ago

    So interesting, James. Love the way you give a history behind your paintings.

  • Sometimes I think all I have is ‘stories’. there’s a lot of ‘been there done that’ at this stage of life… and somehow I hope the story with my work will inspire others to see and value (and maybe even share) their stories.

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • GolemAura
    GolemAuraover 4 years ago

    Key’s to the MG will be in his hands

    thanks for the transport… I miss the feel

  • Whoa, thanks for the ‘youtube’ an de music! Is a feel dat neva really fades. Back in ‘66 Rastas were a small minority of very poor believers that Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the second coming of Jesus. The young Jamaican govt. decided to ask Selassie to visit, to dispel those beliefs. He came in ’66, I saw him up close with his little dogs, and after he left, the number who believed in his divinity sky rocketed and led to the extreme popularity of ’dreadlocks’, openly smokin ganga and reg-ea music (and Bob Marley) De was wild times!

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorover 4 years ago

    look of concentration,good explination interesting to look back. LIZ

  • The past can be a little scary… or strange… it’s why I’m committed to basically stay in the ‘now’. ;-))))

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • Santamaria
    Santamariaover 4 years ago

    Now who is this handsome young guy?! Very interesting self-portrait, James – and great that you lived long enough, to look back and appreciate everything , even what you thought were bad or difficult times

  • Ahhh, the art of looking backwards! ;-))) If I can laugh then I know I’ve accomplished forgiveness! lol

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • Elisabeta Hermann
    Elisabeta Hermannover 4 years ago

    I really like this Self Portait! I find it deep and expressive…could be painted in our days and with the message of “meditating about the past”.
    I see a lot of unanswered questions in your eyes there. Interesting choice of color palette too and a very good use of it. Great piece of ARTWORK!

  • Betty, First I went to your profile page and see you’re a new RB member… so welcome!!!
    I’ve found, and it’s increasing daily, great rewards and personal insights with my ‘bubbling’ activity. As to your lovely and thoughtful comment I’ll say this about your observation of “a lot of unanswered questions in your (my self portrait’s) eyes there”.
    Well, I was what 22 at the time of that painting! Now, over forty years later I know there are really no answers to the questions I had back then, except to accept that there are not always answers (that I can understand anyway) and to revel in the wondrous mystery of life.
    ;-)))))))) James

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • Elisabeta Hermann
    Elisabeta Hermannover 4 years ago

    Yap…and this is happening with the greatest part of us, I think…that’s why I said that if you would paint that in our days, the eyes would suggest the same. Anyway this work is one of your TREASURES…:)

    my best wishes, Betty

  • Thanks, your comments have helped me see more than ever before. A OH! ;-)

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • Elisabeta Hermann
    Elisabeta Hermannover 4 years ago

    In that case I’M VERY HAPPY…;)

  • Rightfully SO!

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • madvlad
    madvladover 4 years ago

    obviouslee a former wild man,the kid asked his father where are we?he told his son, we are in arizona and you,two son,so the kid called the place he was standing twoson,..and it has been called that since then

  • You are absolutely correct… places get named for the silliest reasons oft-times!!!!!!!!
    Now, where is you call home? Is that Madvladski? Is it in Russia… yer always Russian around doin yer art stuff and all…
    heehaha ;-)))

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • madvlad
    madvladover 4 years ago

    at this minute i am in the mountains hiding from,knee deep in unhumanity-it called klamath falls, but we have only a 6?foot fall here, so we should sue the city for false pretence of being some what like nearaggah falls/- oh thats or ree gone- i amso far from anyplace i,m no place-i sell my art to deer/ducks/geece/ n skunks here— my name is walt which is vlad, in polish or russian-but i,mjnone of the above—i,m hynes 57- hahah-but you are right- i live in my safe?own little world,

  • and…. you live wonderfully too… if in any doubt just look at your art again… it’s wonder and wonderful… thanks, Walt, fer the comment!!!!!!! talk ta ya soon!

    – James Lewis Hamilton

  • supernan
    supernanabout 3 years ago

    Very good look how we all change x

  • just on the outside… hahahahaa… thanks!

    – James Lewis Hamilton

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