Thursday, May 15, 2008

Self-Portrait, Bedhead

One morning I woke up and feeling rather depressed and uninspired. I looked at myself in the mirror.

I saw a painting.

This piece is meant to stand against all of the times that we primp and fuss over our looks, it is the most naked portrait of myself that I have done I believe. So often we hide behind devices, moods, make-up, all manner of tools to distance ourselves and appear to be something we are not. I looked upon this piece as an opportunity to depict myself in the most honest way possible.

I see it as a chance to make something positive out of an initially negative moment.

"Self-Portrait, Bedhead" actually won a prize as well! It was in a show at the Oakville Town Hall last year and, to my surprise and delight, won an award. I was elated.

I had a conversation the other day with some new friends and we spoke about the self-portrait. I spoke how, personally, we really are the only filter through which to experience life. We are the vessels where stimuli and ideas coalesce, ferment, and express themselves to the world. Our bodies are the conduits for the expression. Our faces and bodies change along with our philosophies and opinions in one, long and lovely ballet through time. Self-portraits can serve many reminders of where we have been, testaments to standing at certain places and times in our lives, experiencing the happiness, pain and bittersweet heartache of things lost and, more importantly, things found.

"For those who know how to read, I have painted my autobiography." ~Pablo Picasso

1 comment:

Ken Forsyth said...

As the person lucky enough to have this painting, I can only add that it exemplifies two aspects of your work that I value the most, Heather. First off, its tremendous honesty - not a whiff of vanity. Secondly, the presence of strong emotion, deflected. This gives a delicious sense of ambiguity, but also hints at a rich and complex interior life being played out behind your surfaces.
I look at this painting first thing every morning, and it teaches me a new lesson every day.

Thanks for the direction to your blog, Heather. It's great to read your thoughts on these paintings.

Ken Forsyth