All Art is a Self Portrait
July 14th, 2009
Now there are certainly exceptions to the statement I made in the title, but I feel like any art in which we are expressing a part of ourselves is a kind of self-portrait. It is an expression of our inner life, our inner workings. It is perhaps a truer self-portrait than any traditional self-portrait could be because it shows what's going on beneath the surface.
It's like the quote that I shared in last week's CED post:
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. ~Picasso
I think this is why so much of my art has women in it. Even though the figures are not meant to be a direct representation of me, they do represent a part of me. And sometimes they even look a bit like me. I've noticed this in the art of others as well. Their figures look a bit like them and express something that's going on within them.
The above piece of art is a work-in-progress. The idea came from a doodle that simply flowed out of me as I was listening to a podcast. I was imagining thoughts streaming from the figure's mind and emotions streaming from the heart, which combined in this sort of storm cloud that the figure observed curiously. Ideas often start off like this, simple doodles in a sketchbook and if I don't bring them to life, they often tap me on my shoulder (as this one did throughout the weekend) until I express them more fully. It's usually best to get an idea out when it's somewhat fresh because that's when it's most powerful and most relevant.
When I do bring ideas to life, I feel more connected to myself and to my spiritual side. Art is a bit like keeping a diary, yes, but it's also a way of communicating with myself, of understanding what's going on beyond the conscious everyday stuff. When I'm able to express that, I feel calmer and more alive.
Do you see your work as something like a self-portrait? How does it express your inner workings?