Self assessment is always a difficult process. How to be honest while still portraying who you are to an audience. When I started this self portrait something bad happened in my life, on top of the current pandemic and isolation, it made me very sad. So in the early stages of the painting my portrait looked sad. Lots of friends and family commented with concern on social media.
I didn't want the portrait, which will last for centuries, to reflect me in a moment of unhappiness. I'm generally a jolly upbeat person who generates positive vibes in the world. I had to do a lot of reflecting to work out who I wanted to be for eternity.
Once I admitted to myself that I am an artist, I don't have to look 59 in my self portrait. Then the painting became interesting. The Artist in a Red Dress took on a life of her own. Now she's performing for her audience. Looking them straight in the eye and showing them what she can do. The artist is settled in her studio, you see her working world. All the things that she surrounds herself with in the studio.
Unfinished paintings adorn the walls, and the floor. A stretcher bar from a sold and shipped painting hangs on the wall empty of it's canvas. The bright light from the snow on the roofs over the road streams through the window and gives a silver blue light to the room. Her old easel, covered in paint awaits a new canvas, while the artist finishes the large painting she's working on off to the right of the painting. The palette and colours she's using are in front of her on a stool. Her painting smock is hanging on a hook on the wall. Because the artist doesn't want us to see her in her working clothes.
I have spent many years running my own art gallery and meeting and painting in front of the public. Like me the artist in the painting doesn't want you to see her in her dirty paint covered clothes. She likes to dress up, and so you see me/her in an outfit I would wear to a Private View. The other side of an artists life, out in the world going to exhibitions. That's where you will see me. That's where we will chat about art and life. And that's how I want to be remembered.
It's my portrait, and I'll be who I want to be in it.
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