Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Do you know what you look like?
I did this painting last week. It was almost too sweet even for me, but I decided to leave it as is and many seem to like it. I do like it, it's just that I wanted the shepherdess to look older, like...me.
I tried to add jowls, sagging neck, some wrinkles, and it all looked bizarre. So I decided maybe this is what I feel like, this face on this woman, the face I had not too many years ago. I was looking at some photos of me from five years ago and had this calm epiphany
"Wow, I've aged."
I used to always look younger than my years, I thought. Now i think I just look my age. I'm okay with the aging part because I like who I am and who I've evolve into, and I plan to keep expanding each day, an ongoing metamorphosis since birth. I like women in their late forties and older-they've discarded some of the crap that bagged them down in their youth.
But there is this odd thing that happens when you do start to change physically, for me it was about 55 when things really started shifting. My skin has aged, although I'm blessed with Irish looking skin and have worn hats and sunscreen my entire life [thanks to good training by my redheaded mother], and I don't smoke. The odd thing is that I can't really tell what I look like right now. It's a stage, I know it. I suppose it is like what happens in your teens, and then your early twenties where you start coming into your own more. I remember in college tromping along, feeling unworthy in the looks department, and one day I just sort of realized,
Oh, that's what I look like! I'm okay.
In my forties I went through another slight shift, but it was not as drastic as what happens in the mid fifties.
I hope to maybe do some self portraits, for my own purposes in the next year, but maybe I'll drop that idea. I have so many other projects I want time for-like my puppets and dolls I want to spend more time on this summer, new books, clay, my photography-I might lose interest in what I 'feel' I look like and just grow into a comfort zone of it. My face does not represent what my soul is doing, but it is an expression of it in some ways. It's the skin, the covering that allows me to be a soul here on a planet walking in a body, a vessel. If nobody had ever seen me, they would react to my art and writing because of what my soul put into it-it would have nothing to do with my face. While beauty in the commercial world does sell, I do believe that a person's actions and heart are what shine through the skin, and that is what people respond too-even though they can also be attracted to physical beauty. it is the action of the soul extended out into the world, that can move people to do good deeds, inspire art and good will to earth, people and all creatures.
What do you all feel as you are adding years on and looking in mirror? Do you see the face you know is yours, or did you get a bit ungrounded by it? Did it seem like a phase for you, just like the awkwardness of being a teen?