Every so often I’m prompted to respond to a call for art. This small self-portrait is a response to one of those calls. I can’t say creating a self-portrait is always easy or on the top of my list of things to paint. The last one I did was about 2 years ago and is very different than this version. I suppose that’s helpful in terms of recording personal growth. That’s how I choose to see it!
The call was specific to the pandemic and how one views themselves in that context. To be honest I had to think about this for awhile. I couldn’t come up with a clear answer and noticed that I was leaning toward not painting the portrait. Possible avoidance lurching….
The challenge seemed to yank at my insides so I decided I would just paint something. I set up this mirror with a white wicker trim, loving it’s circular motif and the fond memories of it being in my daughters room as she was growing. As it is with many of my paintings the
insights and meaning often come in hindsight as I trust where I’m being led with the subjects or objects I am drawn to.
The circular motif in the white wicker bound mirror felt important as it emerged on the canvas. Unity came to mind and loops of connection I don’t always understand. I thought about adding a mask but decided I didn’t want to. I wear one when I go out but not at home, it’s not necessary. At the core I just didn’t want to see that in this painting. I didn’t need the reminder. There’s been so much more to my experience in this pandemic than wearing a mask.
Being able to look at myself in a mirror isn’t always easy and wearing a mask wont help me avoid the hard work of searching out those parts of myself that I can’t find peace with. I need to embrace them, and look, and listen honestly, so I understand myself. It’s only from that place that I feel I can actually see the adjacent travelers with me, on this journey, and find compassion.