Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Painting

Self-Portrait Conversation

Diana MacKenzie

One of the best aspects of working in The Studio everyday is the unique opportunity to interact with visitors about the art they are making. The other day one of our “regulars” stopped by with his family to participate in our current Public Art Project, Here’s Looking at You. After he finished his painting he walked over to show me his painting. 

I asked him to tell me about it and here he describes his process:

I started by drawing a line around in blue and then in red and I put yellow in the middle but you can’t see it very well. Then I looked up in the mirror and painted what I saw.”

A little later I overheard him talking to his mother about it:

Mother: Is this your face?

Boy: Yes! [pointing out the different parts] This is my hair. These are my glasses.

Mother: I see! Is this yellow your skin?

Boy: Yes, and these are my lips.

He also showed her another painting of rainbows and symbols and explained to her what each mark was. I loved his mother’s response!

Mother: I’m so glad I asked you to explain because now I understand what you made!  

Do you ever document quotes from your children or students describing their artwork or process? If so, how do you display and share evidence of learning in your classroom or home?


Diana, smiling wearing an orange scarf and brown shirt.

Diana MacKenzie

Public Art Program Educator from 2007-2016, Diana has a BFA in Printmaking from Syracuse University and creates mixed-media works inspired by her travels, combining her interests in printmaking and sculpture. She received her M.A.T. from Mount Holyoke College in June 2017, and continues teaching visual arts to children and adults.