Self Portrait

Portrait of the Artist
as an Old Man

I don’t like looking at myself at all
until chin bristles which become too long
want cutting as smooth as a bowling ball
or need for a self-portrait comes along
to be hung in some exhibition hall
Am I self-effacing? Don’t get me wrong
there is not much to like from what I see
Besides it’s strange watching me watching me

The face in the cruel mirror looks haunted
its eyes seek out scars, blemishes, and warts
Physical facial beauty’s what’s wanted
in the media – but it takes all sorts
Nonetheless, it’s hard not to be daunted
by flawless skin and eyes like smoky quartz
Beauty in the eye of the beholder?
Perhaps when young but not when you’re older

Why bother painting when you can capture
everything so well with a camera?
But an ugly mug like mine might fracture
expensive lenses. Snaps, like ephemera,
are short-lived giving an instant rapture
before being consigned to obscura
On with the paint, nil desperandum
at least I can try and make me handsome!

You are the One


Jill Blackie

You are the one I have long waited for
the one who filled with love an empty heart
who gave me meaning and courage once more
to follow life’s hazardous unmarked chart
and salvage dreams dashed on a rocky shore.
For this alone, my love, sets you apart
so high above all others in my life
a shining beacon in a sea of strife.

You are the one who brightens any room
like sunshine bursting through an angry cloud
or a shaft of light in a pharaoh’s tomb
illuminating features fine and proud.
With the warmth and empathy you assume
it’s natural you stand out among the crowd.
Your radiance makes shadows disappear
bestowing love and warmth on those held dear.

You are the one with the gift of laughter
That guarantees involuntary smiles,
A true sense of “happy ever after”,
Basking on beaches on tropical isles,
Or inventing ideas ever dafter –
Cars run on empty for millions of miles,
Teenagers grateful for all that they get,
And days so brilliant the sun doesn’t set.

You are the one whose love I will treasure
’til that day when the light leaves forever.
Each hour I spend with you is pure pleasure.
I will be true, and no one can sever
the bond that unites us. For good measure,
I’ll be constant to you and endeavor
to make you the happiest soul on earth
with nights made for love and days filled with mirth.

 Old Master Portrait Copy

To demonstrate his skill, Alex painted a copy of a medieval portrait using similar materials and techniques. Put on show in a framing shop, it was seen and bought by a customer! (If you want more information or to commission an Old Master copy, please contact Alex).


de la Francesca egg tempera by Alexander Blackie

COPY of Piero della Francesca’s portrait of Battista Sforza (Egg tempera on wood panel)

Battista Sforza, 1465-1466

by Piero della Francesca

Uffizi Gallery