JWN Arts & Hawking 

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Self Portraits

Below are a series of self-portraits done by Bill Nelson from about 1957 to 1997.  His technique was to paint from his own reflection in a mirror.  To add interest to a piece, he might occasionally don a hat or dress in an unusual way. Most significant was his adherence to the image in the mirror. Over 40 years of documenting his own image, his paintings reveal both changes in painting technique, dress style for the times, as well as physical changes through the aging process. In terms of likeness, each painting seems to capture some recognizable feature of Bill's visage, but the two most accurate likenesses, ironically, may be the oil-on-board below that later was used as a backing board and became splattered with paint, and what was most likely the last self-portrait he did in 1997, the year that he died.