My Brillant Career – Immendorf – Self Portrait


‘My Brillant Career’
A5 doodle. Ink
© The Artist.

my not so brillant career

All these recent posts of my retrospective work over the last twenty years has depressed me. Gloomy & disappointment….. so little? To cheer myself up I did a doodle, which started off with a red dot & ended in a notan, ohhhh sorry, that’s a no-thing 😉


sketch after Immendorf ‘ Soceity of Decificiency’

My Feelings of Failure

Even more liberating was to re-read a quote from Immendorf, the wild german painter. I sketched this after his canvas ‘ Society of Deficiency’ which is in the Saatchi Collection, London.
Immendorf, like Beuys I think, was a liberating teacher:

I tell my students take your time. Breathe for twenty or so years. Try & make a portrait of yourself that depicts whereyou will be in twenty or so years from now.

Well, that portrait of me in twenty years time seemed along way away, so I started a self-portrait with some old watercolour on the back of an old failed watercolour. I would like to be able to paint portraits well. I would like to have portraits of my loved ones & my children… if it’s going to take me twenty years to get good, then I better get started straight away before they grow up.


postscript 2013 :

Regretably I still get these depressing feelings of deficiency , that I haven’t achieved much nor made half as many, half as good… Also now, that time si short & doesn’t go on & on. Tomorrow & tomorrow & tomorrow…

….. so little?  ….still always failure? less ambitious now too, which is OK too.

My lovely kids are growing up so quickly, as kids always do. I still would like to make some good portraits of my loved ones & my children. Here’s a recent one.

The moral? If there is one, it must be ‘enjoy the journey’ 🙂

The things I thought were so important — because of the effort I put into them — have turned out to be of small value. And the things I never thought about, the things I was never able to either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered.   – Thomas Merton