Self Portraits

I am supremely sick of painting myself.  Ninety percent of my artwork is depictions of me; my face, my body, my hands and my hair have all become the crux of my collection.  This is becoming a serious problem.It’s getting to the point where I’m embarassed to show new paintings to my friends because I know they’ll laugh at me.

It’s not that I’m not a narcissist (I am).  It’s  easier to capture the poses and emotions that inspire a new painting when model for my own paintings.  Every time, I begin with the intention of using my body as a template and working the image into someone else, but somewhere in the middle I get distracted by the contours and end up with a weird version of myself on the canvas.

For someone who celebrates the differences in our bodies, this is a serious problem.

Maybe I’m just getting tired of bodies in general.  I love to look at them and I’ll never get tired of stepping away from my canvas and realizing that I’ve created something resembling a living, breathing thing.  But there’s a limit.  If I could reproduce the human form exactly and master the techniques of using oil pastels, maybe things would be different.  But as it stands, I need something new in my art-life or I’ll explode.

There’s hope on the horizon.  My newest (and biggest painting yet) was very exciting to me at first.  Then after I got a lot of laughs for it, I realized it was actually the most boring thing I’d ever painted.  The pose is supposed to be dynamic and strong, but those emotions are washed away by the plasticity of everything else.

I just have to keep reminding myself that being an artist isn’t about copying what can be seen through a camera, but what we can see for ourselves.

 

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