This is the first time I painted myself. Honestly I had about thirty minutes before the kids came home and I grabbed an old canvas that had a layer of blue acrylic paint on it – leftover from one of the kids art projects.
I was scrolling through photos on my computer and this one that my daughter Alex took of me came up.
I love the photo – we are in Rome, my skin was being kissed by the warmth of an Italian sunset in July, I have my camera in hand and I was photographing rooftops – a new obsession of mine.
So I did this quick painting. First time I ever painted myself and I really like it.
Self Portrait, 8 x 12, Oil on Board
I live in the heart of wine country in Woodinville, Wa but the grapes in this painting are from Italy.
We stayed in a dreamy villa outside of Montepulciano last summer. On a warm Italian evening right about sunset, my son and I walked into the vineyard to photograph the grapes.
11 x 14
Oil on Board
But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself . . .
Why do we as humans struggle so hard with the notions of being our authentic selves?
Why is the call for success and money so strong that we imprison ourselves in the constant quest for it?
Why is success defined more by what we accumulate than by what we leave behind?
I ask these questions because I have been striving the last several years to answer them. I’ve spent a lot of time sitting and thinking lately – it’s what happens when you have a broken foot. And I have begun putting together the story of my journey to this place where I sit now.
And I have been working on being imperfect – more challenging than I’d like to admit for my type A personality. As part of this process, I’ve been making bowls. Not perfect bowls that you order on-line from a factory in China. I have been making beautiful, imperfect bowls.
And I have discovered that the beauty is in the imperfections.
I love this little still life painting. The copper pot is a family antique from a farm in Missouri. The strawberries remind me of going out in the garden with my Grandma in the heat of an Iowa summer and picking Strawberries for an afternoon snack. Oh how I loved her.
Oil on Board
12 x 16