Rummaging through the dark recesses of my studio, I stumbled upon this today:
My first Oil painting.
I remember very clearly that it was on New Years Day, 2004, when I finally decided to put away the Acrylics and try something new. I've never looked back. The smell, the tactile experience, and the long drying time of Oils made me feel like a serious painter for the first time. It pulled me deeper into the craft and gave me a new lease on art. At the time I was heavily influenced by Max Beckmann and his self-portrait as a medic in WWI...you can see the influence:
Now, looking back at this portrait, I would change a lot of things (like my one bug-eye and the weird blue shadow on my face), but nostalgia wins. The excitement is still there and I'll always enjoy looking back at this moment in art self-discovery.