unity of opposites

first layer of self-portrait using sap green

This is the first layer of the self-portrait that I recently started. I’m using green as an underpainting because I am thinking of using some reds on top of it. I got the idea from Scott Kahn (@ownnothing on twitter, he’s also on FB, wonderful painter) He had posted online several pictures of his work. I complemented Scott on one of them only to have him point out that it was the underpainting! Needless to say, I felt silly.  While I was thinking of the next layer of this portrait, the incident popped into my mind. (using compliments in this way is one of those 2D design exercises for beginning painters!)

I’ve sketched in the other 2 faces. I was unsure whether the poses in the photos would work but I think they will. Progressing  slowly.

“The path up and down is one and the same.” Heraclitus

Here I am, I am here.

Got an idea for some new paintings. 3 portraits : of me, my daughter and my son. Thought this would propel me back into painting on  a regular basis but it hasn’t. I got as far as sketching in my face and that is it. (maybe I’ll use it as my twitter/FB avatar!)  I’m just not overly motivated to paint right now.

I think back to when I started painting, back before undergrad school. I was married with 2 small children and an absent husband.  I painted as an outlet, a way of claiming something that was just me, an identity. Here I am; this is me! The paintings were not that good but they were from an emptiness/hole inside of me. All thru undergrad/grad/postgrad I had that hole. Until lately, until I moved back home and it is strange because I never expected the hole to go away; I thought it would be with me always. But it seems like it DID go away. Is that why I no longer feel compelled to paint?

I am content with myself. I have become who I am. I read, knit, garden, take care of my  dog, feed the feral cat next door, enjoy my small sphere of existence. Perhaps, another teaching job with come about, perhaps, something else or nothing. Doesn’t matter, I am content with what I have, I don’t need more.

self portrait: face sketched in with background wash.o/c, 11/11, 20" x 20"

I worry that my children with be ok in their endeavors but I am confident they will be fine no matter what life throws at them.

So, now perhaps, what is happening is a profound shift in my raison d’être for my art.  Instead of a hole being motivation, joy and celebration will take its place. I have no idea what those paintings will be. I keep thinking about Matisse.

I am here.

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