Updated: Mar 16
Here it is! The portrait series begins of How We See Ourselves is official. Seeing ourselves is something that can be a challenge and an evolution, even a legacy...and we spend a lot of time trying to understand ourselves, improve, care develop, heal, express, nourish, define, structure, conceal, share...
I have studied so much about Jungian Archetypes, mythologies, heroines and heroes of literature and comics, Tarot arcana, Animals, Totems, Spiritual Vision Quests, Shamanism, cross cultural fables, mythical creatures, symbolic polymorphism and so on...
Then there is symbolism of time of day or year and seasons, plants, animals, insects, spiritual and religious themes, items: jewelry, books, candles, glasses, food, and so on again...
I read constantly about artists through time and presently doing annual or regular self portraits for a variety of reasons. Anything from skill development to self-assessment. Or painting their own animal companions over and over for the sheer love of them, and honestly it just never appealed to me at all. So unappealing that is was more like a resistance or a rebellion, and if you've seen my dog, that just makes no sense. Have you seen him?
Let me help you out here:
So - what is not to paint?? Constantly? Like how have I gotten anything else done except complete adoration and devotion to this amazing beast.
I have been creating a beautiful change in my spaces and places and it is such a different time of life for me. My children are grown and so independent in every way, and there is so much I have done in my life that is like I read in a blog written by a lace maker years ago, that I wish I could find because I refer to it so often (I'm going to really strip it down for efficiency here and in another post do it better justice): she talked about the tangible threads being the things we see and what we most notice - we could say a paycheck, a building being built, but the spaces between the threads are just as important, take as much calculation and strategy, and we don't even notice them - we talk about the "stitches are so..." and the spaces can be the things that gone done and undone or done without a trace, meals that get prepared and eaten, wounds that get healed (or made)... She was writing a piece that was about gender, etc. but I'm applying it more broadly here. The blog post was highly impactful.
I thought about what is my life legacy so far...what is the lace I have created... what would the architecture look like... more densely woven like fabric? more full of airy spaces because of the holes... a good pattern and balance? repetitive like a crocheted blanket? What might the colors be like?
I realized it could look something like this, maybe with more color:
I was going to say more air, but I created two human beings and a few other actuals in the world. I'd say that takes up some full on space for tangible threads. But I feel like, I am primarily an airy producer...
I began thinking where I am, where I've been, where I'm going and revisited the whole idea of self portraiture, legacy, beliefs, knowledge, symbolism and came up with the Tarot card of the Fool. Here is a page link to a description about the Fool archetype that I particularly like. I actually am not familiar with the Incandescent Tarot, or the author, but I really like this particular description as a succinct way of describing how I also feel about the Fool in general. https://www.incandescenttarot.com/thefool
In my personalization, because it is after all, MY self portrait, I choose the essence of the traditional meanings and symbolism, but then dove into my own meaningful symbolism that illustrates MY story and journey, to tell what I am about and what I am taking with me in my own essence and embodiment of the Fool.
You will see things and get it, or you will see things and not get it. There are meanings in there that I may be the only one to every understand. Every flower, every placement of the flower, the time of day, colors, where everyone is gazing, the hidden eye, the size of the moon, where the moon and earth are placed... Each piece is researched and chosen according to the essence of the archetype and my embodiment of my current, past, and future dance with the archetype. On the back of the painting, I have listed the meanings of my choices.
Finished. I am so happy to share with you this video. I will make a narrated video soon to explain more of the meanings of the symbolism if folks are interested. Also, this is my new YouTube, so feel free to do the like, share, and subscribe thing if you find it interesting. that's how it works, right? I dunno, I'm so spankin new at all of this. We'll figure it out.
I have never been excited about recreating a photograph, and through this process, I have found another way to make portraiture deeply personal, and even playful, inviting, connective, provocative... we get to decide. If you have questions or would like to commission your own portrait for yourself or for a loved one living or even deceased, I would be thrilled to embark on such a meaningful creation.
Ama la vita d'altro,
Enjoy the little video peek, I made the video instead of slides because there is gold leaf that I just still can't figure out how to photograph. I have taken courses from pro photographers. etc. I'm so far just bad at sparkly photography, and yet, I add a little shimmer to so much of my works! HAHAH... well... here it is... it will be over before the popcorn is made.