Each week I host an art journaling session on Zoom. We have a topic, I give people writing prompts. After writing, we make art on the topic. Last week the topic was "authenticity". After writing about it for a few minutes, I felt drawn to create a self portrait. I turned on my camera to record the drawing, because I thought it would be a fun and interesting process for my students and patrons to see.
As it turns out, it was fun and interesting for me to watch, too.
Here's the deal: when I wrote about authenticity, I wrote about how I needed to show up in the world as my true self - good, bad and everything in between. And that meant facing my tired, maxed-out, aging face in the mirror.
Seeing my face on Zoom for the past year has really kind of messed with my head. I've been using the "touch up my face" filter on Zoom, and it's given me a skewed view of myself! (Not to mention a false view of myself to everyone else!)
Painting a self-portrait can be confronting, but it was even more confronting seeing my non-Zoom-filtered face in the mirror, and having to record it - as honestly as I can - in oil pastels.
At the end of the art journaling session, (around the 3 minute mark in the video) I had what I thought was a fairly good portrait. It wasn't quite me, but she looked good.
Actually...she looked too good. I was flattering myself to the tune of the Zoom filter. So when I got to my studio the next day, I turned the camera on, and got to work; facing myself.
If you watch the whole video you'll see my image age. It's kind of strange to watch myself age so quickly on the page. But it's kind of fun too.
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I am a teaching artist with a passion for expression, creativity, and using art as a way to work through the muck of life.