Carrie Lee McClish
Carrie Lee McClish
About: These days when I stop before a mirror, it’s not to assess the length or increasing number of grey follicles of my “COVID” hair, but it is to consider whether or not it is the right time to sit down and draw a selfie, or self-portrait.
I have been drawing selfies since June 2019, inspired by the intriguing drawings I saw of an online art group. Each week members of this group post drawings of themselves by following two basic rules — each drawing has to be from a reflective image like a mirror — no drawing from photos are allowed — and the images have to be posted on a Sunday.
I have enjoyed these weekly drawing sessions with myself. It has brought a focus to my life when at times I have been distracted and rudderless. Despite the endless battles with my inner critic I tell myself that what matters is that I show up in front of this mirror.
Some weeks showing up at the mirror was hard, like the week I was laid off from my job. I was so disheartened that I did not feel like drawing. But when I picked up a handheld mirror and pencil, I drew the sadness that I saw on my face. Months later I found relief in that same face that I drew after picking up some freelance work.
Thanks to these regular sessions with my reliable model, I have noticed a big improvement in my drawing skills. Now I use an assortment of art tools, from graphite pencils to watercolors to an iPad to capture the light, curves and emotions that I see reflected in my face. Still, I have so much more to learn, which I plan to address one selfie at a time.
Artist bio: In addition to her ongoing series of self-portraits, Carrie McClish, a freelance writer, has illustrated a book of poetry, drawn newspaper illustrations, participated in group exhibitions with local urban sketchers and has created chalk art on the streets of Oakland and San Francisco to draw awareness to endangered bird species in the Bay Area.