Finally after well over a month of starting a drawing and re doing it a few times (I could easily re draw this in a day after all the practice) my self portrait is complete! Though it isn’t perfect – the titles could have been thinner like on my others and I could have coloured in a white background before I did anything else but hey it’s done and it’s all learning.
I had an idea back in May to draw how I felt at the beginning of the year and how I feel now. Showing how I feel isn’t a new concept for me, I usually do it through journaling or intuitive painting. Drawing however is and sharing it is too!
I had doubts about doing this, though I really wanted to follow my nagging feeling to just do it. When asked what I’m doing at the moment I’d say shyly ‘I er…am drawing and painting how I feel’ to which my mum gave the loveliest response ‘That’s good, that’s what some of the best artists do!’
Of course I knew that, but feeling that is different. Instead of looking at a painting of Frida Kahlo and taking her difficulties and experience, I wanted to do my own and it’s hard, not in a literally sense that it is hard to draw, it’s hard to let go, let people see how you feel. Even as I finish a draft it would be so easy to just file it away and not share, though I also feel I must.
In an abstract painting you show how you feel with colours, lines, a single sentance. You show what is in your subconscious though you don’t always tell all. When you draw it out – you show everything.
I firstly painted on Canson XL 7 x 10 inch with pens and inks, the paper takes really well and is smooth too, I then bought Canson XL A3 which also takes really well (it’s a paper for mixed media after all) though the surface is more textured.
The story behind this painting – This is how I feel Jan-June 2017, combines Sikhi with my emotional state and feelings over relationships. At the start of the year, feeling heartbroken at the end of a long relationship I put up a barrier between me and possible male relationships. I projected, deflected, avoided all, even if it was just in conversation with friends about the possibility of new love. It wasn’t happening anytime soon. It reminded me of times I had seen Sikh warriors at various events, their strength and subtle playfulness. In the painting, on the left I have a huge shield with one arrow and three pierced through hearts at the bottom, symbolising finished relationships.
On the right is how I feel now, my shield is smaller, my arrows behind me and hearts lifted and lighter than before. It shows how I am feeling more open, though still not ready. I’m guarded but less so. There’s no arrow on my shield, I am more balanced than previously and even smiling a little.
I’m going to continue with other drawing ideas, sharing how I feel visually. I’m also showing an old piece of art work, my biggest and as my ex says (my best piece) Frida Kahlo and Diageo Rivera at Open for Art in Reading vintage shop Frock n Roll from Friday 30th June – Sunday 2nd July.
I’ve added this piece to my portfolio under self portraits for now, though I may explore more and it become a project.