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Measure Twice – Self Portrait by Steve Tyerman

Measure Twice - Self Portrait

Steve Tyerman

About the artist and artwork

Steve Tyerman is a a full-time professional artist, living and working in the hinterland of the Gold Coast. He predominantly paints seascapes and landscapes and the occasional self portrait, largely because he considers himself an easy subject to paint. His main aim in art is to filter his thoughts and experiences through paint.

This self-portrait explores some of Steve’s thoughts about the nature of creativity and making something from scratch, the precision required when making your own frames, the futile pursuit of perfection and the very imperfect, human nature of painting.

On questioning the pursuit of perfection, the canvas was made ‘out of square’, which was significantly more difficult to make than a normal frame.

‘I also wanted to create a different visual effect by playing around with angles and foreshortening, with the strong downward perspective of the portrait being amplified by the skewed quadrilateral canvas shape, making the work appear as though it is not flat on the wall but hanging on a sharp tilt. This ‘skewed’ angle reflects the way I think we all see ourselves.’

"Who would have thought perfection would be easier to attain"

Behind the scenes

Questioning the pursuit of perfection, I made this canvas ‘out of square’, and it was significantly more difficult to make than a normal frame. Who would have thought perfection would be easier to attain? 

I painted the background thinly with brushes to reflect the careful precision of the tools and the craftsmanship side of my art practice while the portrait was painted loosely with palette knives and a lot of paint to try to achieve an acceptable level of imperfection. 

With deteriorating eyesight, I am shown double checking my diagonal measurements, but when all is said and done, I must remember to wear my spectacles.