The Story about my Avatar

Three years ago, (October 2008) I started painting my first portrait. I had no specific person in mind and was not thinking about a self portrait. But I was particular that the painting process had to be spontaneous with a loose brushstroke and vibrant colours. The character of this mystery person had to appear strong in personality and expression. I remember clearly I was upset and mad about something that had occurred the day before.
Here is a shot of the work in progress.

The colour scheme I used during this stage of the painting was supposed to calm my fury. But I recall that instead of soothing the heat I began fighting with the painting and ended up reaching for fuel to feed the fire.
I was paying no attention to the conversation between my two colleagues who were painting with me in the studio. Totally taken by surprise I was abruptly rescued from the war zone to the safety of reality when my friend exclaimed: " O my gosh - she looks more and more like you!" I took a step back to see for myself if this face was me or not. After a sigh and a pause I calmly said: "Yes and No! Actually this is what I would like to be". To me the portrait showed a gutsy person with a mind of her own. A woman who dares to reflect her "inside" on the "outside", is not influenced by what others think or say about her - but embraces her uniqueness, originality and creativity. Nothing is holding her back. She lets her nature shine and be seen.
Looking at the portrait for a while I saw the soft and dreamful side next to the stubborn and courageous side of me. The face was fished but I felt it needed a final statement - the "Amen" of the prayer. That is when I grabbed the drawing tool and swung my arm over the hair and around the face. Now the painting was finished and "So Be It”!

Little did I know at the time that I would actually change my hair style to fit the painting. When I decided to go for a lop-sided hair cut I was not at all thinking about my portrait. But when it dawned on me that NOW I did look like her - I made her my avatar. No, she is not for sale and yes, she has a name: "Untamed".


  1. Hi Therese,

    it's funny, the way you explained the person you wanted to be is the way I got to know you -even though not in person but through your comments, your responses, your blog and just everything that I have found out about you. You reflect now what you wanted to become!
    Your painting has manifested itself in you.

    I loved the way you described how you put all your anger and feelings into the painting.. It's remarkable how the painting evolved form the angry stage (looks almost evil the first one) to a balanced, independent and strong woman with a strong and a soft side (both equally strong).

    I am glad you shared your story about your avatar, thank you!

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

  2. Out with the old - and in with the new as they say Therese - it's amazing
    this turn around was indeed the new affirmation of you! Love your new look and your new posting! Lori

  3. Thank you Fanziska and Lori for your uplifting comments. It is a funny thing with this painting - truly since I started painting I also began to express myself in ways I did not dare before. Even when I was a young girl I felt the need to break out of my shell... never had the guts to really do it. Not any longer, thank God. I guess that there is still more to discover about myself and always will be... I find that a great thing as I head toward retirement. Want to still do many things and make my marks.

  4. Just got directed here by the wonderful sadee and am glad i did. Your description of how you want to be sounds so familiar. I can relate so well. I am off now to explore your blog. I love this painting by the way-the loose almost abstract style is fantastic.

  5. Oh I am glad you stumbled upon my avatar and thank you for the comments. If you like to see more faces - feel free to visit my website http://therese-joseph.com/index.php?id=5&gal=31&action=load_objects - I noticed you are an artist too so I am also going to check out your work. Do you have a twitter account?