Monday, July 8, 2013

SELF PORTRAIT

























Suz"
14x14" oil on heavyweight canvas

Well I did it and since I approached it as an adult it worked out okay! Besides, it's just a face. That it happens to be mine makes it difficult to see it that way however, no matter how grown up I try to be.

But the face comes with a story. I painted myself as joyful because joy is my daily goal and how I've decided to tell my story. I saw all sorts of images in my head given the portrait assignment for the group Artists Growing Together was to convey how we perceive ourselves and what our life experience has been. And, I would like to say that choosing a smiling pose was due completely to my new outlook on life, but sadly, no. The shots taken with sadness and loss etched on my features really showed my age. (Hmmm...vain much Suz?) That said I'd like to offer a tip to aging hippies and baby boomers out there. Smile. A lot!

It doesn't read in the photo of the painting, but there's a bright light over my right shoulder, and I'm sure I don't have to tell you who it represents. Himself is present and accounted for! Tim is with me, always. I know this because I can't fake feeling good.

I originally saw myself standing in front of a window, the light falling on my features showing a reflective, distant gaze painted in strong dark hues and bold strokes. But that's not what I feel, how I look or how I paint. I thought it would be cooler than just a smiling face but I don't want my story to be tragic, sad or difficult. I read that we don't live the life we deserve, we live the life we think we deserve and I think I deserve to be joyful.  And I know Tim wouldn't have it any other way.

32 comments:

  1. Suzanne, this is the most beautiful, moving post. Your wisdom about how we approach our advancing age, adn our lives in general is so inspiring. The portrait is perfect, and I like the way you described how you came to choose this pose for yourself. You're absolutely right in that you deserve a life of pure joy.

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  2. So beautiful! I really enjoyed reading about your creative process and what it represents.

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  3. Your beauty and joy shine through! Great portrait and I love the size.

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  4. Beautiful inside and out! Love your joyous, creative spirit and that you share it.

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  5. Sweet Suz
    Gee- our comment that we left you is gone!!!
    We were saying how much we loved this portrait of you.
    Its beyond amazing!
    Gee- I wonder where the comment went!
    love
    tweedles

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  6. Dearest Suz [not Gunkie right now], your self-portrait is so very, very beautiful. You have such a gorgeous smile, and the joy just radiates out from the painting.
    PS - I am going to be smiling a lot more after reading your post. :)

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  7. I absolutely LOVE this Suz! Wow - you have such an amazing gift for portraiture! And I am SO glad you chose a smile! Tim would just love this I am sure! I reckon this should hang proudly on your wall - and every time you feel sad, you can look at it and be reminded of that light over your shoulder, lighting up your face :0)

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  8. You are beautiful, Suz. Truly beautiful and no wonder Tim fell head over heels for you. Your outlook is amazing and I love that you've painted Tim into this piece.

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  9. Beautiful lady...beautiful spirit...beautifully said.
    You radiate joy like Tim radiates light!(AND you posted at 1:11...just sayin')
    Bren

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  10. Not only a great portrait - and you look good, girl, no need to worry about aging - but a great philosophy of life. Smiling more strengthens those muscles and makes us smile more! What a great circle to be in. Have a fantastic week and make sure you laugh out loud at least once a day; it's like exercise for your abdominals and a lift to your mental state :) I love that you included Tim in the glow over your shoulder.

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  11. I love this, and you look great! I haven't done a self portrait since high school- painting people scares me enough, but myself....
    I really love the reflections in the glasses- adds so much!

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  12. All I can say girl is that you truly rock!!! OutSTANDING!!!!!!

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  13. lovely to see your lovely face :) and the work you have been doing recently is stunning Suz!

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  14. Hi there Suz!... They say the real truth and essence of a "good" portrait lies in capturing the eyes. I would concur with that statement having seen this lovely self-portrait. But would add... that your final two sentences elevate that Truth to a capital "T" level for "Me"!

    A wonderful mantra in vinyl font bedecks my wife Deb's washroom. It reads:

    "Above all- Be the Heroine in your life... Not the Victim."
    - Nora Ephron

    I think that you are both learning to walk the Pathway to Peace... and personal Happiness! I wish you both further illumination and courage to continue that journey... as you both have done!

    Good Painting... n' Portraiting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

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  15. Love that smile! Great work Suz! You sparkle!

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  16. And you bring joy to others by sharing this portrait and thoughts! Blessings and love to you, Roxanne.

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  17. Well look at you sweetie, aren't you just gorgeous! Love the portrait. Great idea to have all the reflections in your glasses. It creates interest (I keep trying to see what was around you.) and you don't have to paint the eyes! Of course you are a master at eyes, so it wouldn't have been a problem for you... I like that Tim's light is there at your side. Great job! Keep smiling. It looks great on you!

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  18. I can see why Tim fell in love with you, Suzanne!! You are beautiful..and I love the glow in that amazing smile. Tim would have loved this portrait... I hope you do more portraits!!!

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  19. I love this beautiful self-portrait and everything you wrote. You are such an inspiration with your positive attitude. Thank you for reminding us to smile more, too!

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  20. Beautiful paintings! So glad I found you.

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  21. You're beautiful inside and out. Your philosophy of adopting happiness is a good one, if not difficult to maintain sometimes. But it stands you in good stead and makes you feel better. I agree that it helps the aging process to be happy. I've been trying harder to do so lately and like the person I am when I can be more upbeat.

    Self portraits are such a good exercise aren't they? They force us to really look at ourselves and bring out the good and the not so good too.

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  22. Oh this made me smile and smile! You give so much to people in your blog and work and this is the epitome of that! You shine through- Thanks

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  23. Very fun painting. This makes me smile too, Suzanne. I think it's contagious!

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  24. There is a bumper sticker I've seen that reads: 'Art Heals'. At the risk of sounding awfully corny, I think that is what we are experiencing here....your followers see ourselves in you, like those reflections in your glasses. We've seen ourselves in all your posts and wondered...could I handle what she did? Could I go on? The fact that you can and did fills us with hope.. for everyone, everywhere!

    Beautiful portrait. You so totally nailed it.

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  25. Hi pretty Lady, love your self portrait. I like "living the life we think we deserve". I have always said "we get out of life what we expect" so have high standards, right? I LOVE your pear painting too, you are such an amazing artist, I think I have told you that before but I can't say it enough. Hugs

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  26. Yes you absolutely do deserve to feel joyful!! This is a FABULOUS self portrait Suz!!! I love seeing your smiling face, you are beautiful. :D And I love the bright light that is with you. I knew that was Himself right there with you. I better get crackin on mine!!

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  27. such warmth and kindness suzanne

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  28. I always loved your work Suz, and your attitude! Now I know how cute you are too. :)

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  29. A super portrait and great blog. Smiling faces are actually harder to paint. Yours is beautiful. Your determination to work towards joy is moving indeed. And I am sure Tim is all for that.

    Love your work. It feels wonderful to see the face of one of my favorite artists.

    XOXO Barbara

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  30. I have been behind on looking at my blogger friends blogs this summer. Was so happy to see your smiling face and so many beautiful paintings on yours! Love everything, but this one is my favorite. Love the light over your shoulder.:) Hugs!

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  31. Wow..must have missed looking this post day. What a wonderful painting of yourself. Tim's mother would love this hanging in her house. There's a test. Nice colors all around and shapes and beautiful painting. And I agree with all of the above comments. You Rock Suzanne.

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