I was recently asked to participate in an exhibition at a local gallery of artists self portraits. My immediate reaction was definitely NO! I have never had the desire to paint myself yet if you look back at the history of art most artists have painted one at some point.
In a moment of weakness I agreed.
This proved to be one of the most challenging pieces I have ever tackled. It forced me to look deep inside myself and reveal who I am. This journey was confronting but I did it! There was a point where I was about to throw in the towel and pull out but its not in my nature to give up. I love a challenge but this really tested me!
This is my thought process and how the painting evolved:
I did not have the full concept immediately. It evolved as the painting morphed into what it wanted to be!
I started off with the background which is quite textural and neutral. That part was easy. It was the following stages that took their time and tole!
I chose to do the portrait using splashes of bright colour representing the paint on my palette, which is very much a part of me.
The right side of the portrait is who I am, first and foremost, a woman. The opposite side represents the most important part of my life and that is my family. I am fierce when it comes to the protection and love of my children like a lioness protecting her cubs. The lioness also represents my passion for animals who don’t have a voice.
On this planet we share, I believe we are all connected to each other by an invisible force and this is represented by the surrounding trees encompassing the portrait.
The strong contrast of colour against a subdued background is how I often feel about my place in the universe. We are surrounded by negativity and it is a constant battle to remain positive in the face of adversity. “My cup is always half full” and that is my choice!
The exhibition opened a week ago at the Studio Bistro Gallery, Yallingup, Western Australia. http://www.thestudiogallery.com.au/
It was very interesting to see each individuals portrait and they are all so varied. The exhibition will end this Sunday.
Paula Wiegmink – self portrait 2016
I welcome your comments and look forward to hearing about your experience with self portraiture!