Monday, November 26, 2012

Self Portrait

I though I would share a painting I did at the beginning of this year as the year closes. Besides I have been so busy lately with the end of the semester that I haven't had a lot of time to paint. Thus I am pulling out something I did awhile ago that I haven't shared yet.

Self Portrait © 2012
My original plan for this piece was to take many photos of myself and paint them one on top of the other until I made it to this last and most current photo, as a way to see my self through time, like a life map of sorts. I made many life maps during November through March. Somehow I didn't happen though. I think God knew I needed to see me in the now more at that moment. I needed to figure out who the new me was shaping out to be. He knew I could see who I was in the past but the current and the future were to hard for me to handle.

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?

1 comment:

  1. Your reflections on life are so beautiful and shine God's strength and presence through the ups and downs of life. Love u so much, sis!!