Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why It's Good to Look

"Sometimes I go months without looking" 
Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

Introspection takes courage 
and detachment.

I'm not brave or detached.  

But kids are.
Their take on flaws is joyful. 
They delight in uniqueness. 

Pip, Winnie and Sugar Snack entered their first art exhibition last week. 

They were thrilled to see their self-portraits
along with other darlings in the 

The exhibition sparked a theme with us.
We've been doing self-portraits in art and word.

How do you see yourself?

If you draw, try thirty second sketches.

my thirty second effort:
Try it with your eyes closed. 

my closed eyes effort:

Oops. Not nice. Ouch. 
It's good to look.
I don't examine my flaws with a microscope, but it's definitely good to look. 
At least at the paper. 
Whatever I look like, it's an improvement on the 
nose-attached-to-mouth study. 

I'm a pen and ink girl at heart.                          

Here's one with ink

and a little watercolor on top.

If you write, try quick self-portrait studies.

I tried a word self-portrait as haiku:

My Other Self, Not Called "Mama"

Eyebrows outline me
Club nose, smudge eyes, curvy lips
soft hair, song voice, hips

I hunger, I crave
warm sunlight, cool rain, word, breath
music, paint and bread

Pain teaches, sands down
crisp edges, all my best is
peace, salt, light, love, rest 

Word Self-Portrait 
by Winnie

I have brann hair
I have a noze 

I have a maos

Look at yourself.

Try to think like a kid,  a traveler, or an artist.

Enjoy your knobby knees, your fleshy bits, the wiggly part at the back of your arms, the smooth nubbiness of a mole, eyelashes that go on forever, spriggy white hairs.  

I list
by Pip

I have curly hayr
Red lips
funny noss
and iybras
one and a haf teeth

What do you see when you look?

More good dirt:

This week Molly Blaisell reflects on self-portraits.

A great children's book about discovering the inner artist:

The Dot by Peter Reynolds.


Richard Jesse Watson said...

Self portraits are cathartic. You have to get over your self in order to portray yourself. Do we draw the mole, or the scar, or not? Should we ease up on the double chin, or bask in it? Fortunately, for the self portraitist, or autobiographer one can tweek as needed. Need a dose of hardscrabble realism?~then let it all hang out. If one needs a little self esteem "there-thereing", then let your pencil do a little nip and tucking.

Either way, it takes a bit of mind-bending to say to yourself, "Hey self, here is my interpretation of myself." Or should that be "our interpretation of ourself." Wait, make that "ourselves." Hold on, 1x1=1, right? But 1+1=2. Or do you carry the one... or...?

Faith Pray said...

RJW, I just looked up "cathartic." I thought it meant something to do with heart attack. Nope - bowel cleansing. Maybe I was thinking of "catatonic."
Cardiac, catatonic, regardless, I'm glad to know I get to edit my own story without guilt. Cheers!

Stacy Post said...

What a wonderful idea! I'm going to dedicate some time after work to try my hand at a thirty second self protrait. What fun!

Faith Pray said...

Stacy, I just received your lovely prize! Thank you! What a boost to my week!

Words A Day said...

These are really touching, the portraits and the poems...inspiring and beautiful.

lilla a said...

I love you post! And thanks for participating!

Faith Pray said...

Niamh, such kind words from a talented poet!

Lilla a, thank you! It was such a privilege to be part of your exuberant exhibition!


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