|Self Portrait © 2012|
I don't know about you but I hate photos of my self, so it was a challenge to find one that I would be okay using. The photos I do like of myself aren't always the ones others would necessarily choose as characteristic of me either, but I guess that is what makes it a self-portrait. This photo was from a friend's wedding I attended in October of 2011. In the photo I was watching from behind in the crowd peering behind two bridesmaids. This pose is reminiscent of the purpose of the painting to give myself a look at who I am.
The twiggy stems represent the new growth of learning to set boundaries with others, after reading Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend, along with a lot of other adaptations to the change. But the sycamore leaves represent the inner strength to move forward and the promise of more strength to come. At my college by the administration building there is a huge sycamore tree that I have fallen in love with that first came to mind when I started this work. I love how the tree has patches of exposed bark and battle scars from years gone by, that give it such visual interest.
My life was so raw then. So much had changed, and was still changing rapidly. I think of the second verse from Sara Grove's Rewrite this Tragedy:
"Sometimes it's hard to tell what to keep and what to kill
What of this makes us who we are
All that we love the most, all that we cannot let go
How much of change can we survive?"
I needed a way to see myself. To know that there was some constant, something to hold onto. I was changing and everything around me was simultaneously. I want to end by asking if you have ever struggle seeing who you are, and how you have coped with it?