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".