Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Self-Portrait, Fugue"

  1. 1.
    a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts.
  2. 2.
    a state or period of loss of awareness of one's identity, often coupled with flight from one's usual environment, associated with certain forms of hysteria and epilepsy.

It's important to take note of unusual words encountered in a small period of time. Spoken or written, you see patterns. Recently the beautiful word 'fugue' came up twice in 24 hours. I was in the process of painting the portrait at the bottom of this blog post (and on the far right of the image above) and all of a sudden I knew what the piece would be called. 

The sooner we realize that nothing ever is permanent, the happier we will be....change is inevitable, the only true constant. Our mental states are often as tempestuous as a sudden snow squall. Our grip on sharp thoughts and clear focus may take a long while to become unstable, but when it does, we can spiral into a fugue state. 

This is my sixth "cathartic" self-portrait. The main reason for painting these self-portraits is I want to capture what it is to be bereft, or broken-hearted. There is an energy there, and a potential for creativity that is important to listen to, watch and learn from. I plan 99% of my paintings but when you will become unhelmed you must seize the moment and paint it.

So with each of these portraits I have examined, to my fullest capacity, the tumult and subsequent shift toward healing. These portraits are some of the only ones where the subject is looking directly (in some cases) at the viewer. It is an invitation in these paintings to look closer, to hold the gaze, and not look away, as we are often tempted to do when someone is upset.

This portrait is small, 4"x4"...there is a joy found in the small, revelatory pieces like this...just as a diamond jeweler looks through a loop, energy is condensed and the mind can focus on a tiny peek into itself on canvas.

I cherish these little paintings. They are certainly my most personal pieces. They mark where the only place to go was up, like filling your lungs and rising up out of the darkness, to not succumb but to break the surface and keep swimming.

"Self-Portrait: Fugue", oil on panel, 4"x4"

"Creativity comes from accepting that you're not safe, from being absolutely aware, and from letting go of control. It's a matter of seeing everything -- even when you want to shut your eyes." - Madeleine L'Engle


Anthony Duce said...


Anonymous said...

Tonal tinnitus is the "ringing in the ears" type and
produces a continuous sound, like a single
note playing over and over. Murali Rao, principal investigator
of Loyola's TMS tinnitus
study. However, one element which is common to all
those reasons is which the brain perceives a false electrical impulse and interprets this as sound.