I went back through the archives of Life Book 2012 to tackle this lesson from Kylie Pepyat-Fowler, A Self-Portrait Journey. I hadn’t wanted to do the class when it was first released, but my subconscious was obviously working on my behalf, because I knew that I was going to do it as soon as I sat down for a full day of arting last weekend.
A perfect example of Creative Healing in play… I stopped to take a photo of my progress with the inkjet acrylic photo transfer technique and immediately realised that …
I was noticing myself in the process of watching my self emerge both literally and figuratively.
What happened next was that I just went for it! I mean, I didn’t stop to think about what I was doing… I’d been watching the new BBC series Divine Women just days before and I guess perhaps that was sinking into my subconscious, but what I felt was loose and playful and excited about a contrast between my everyday self (glasses and all) and the notion of my embodiment of the divine. Of finally not only understanding my dharma, but beginning to live it out.
And I can feel a shift. A big shift in my attitude to my greater work but also smaller shifts, like in my arting techniques. I’m so new to these portraits and not really sure how to approach them but I’ve been quite tight with it and careful in my drawing, like in this portrait for Tam’s Life Book Lesson in week 14, created just two weeks before.
And last night after dinner, we retreated to the TV room to watch some mindless programme (The Tudors – all that sex, all those bosoms!) and I got out my sketchbook and started to speed sketch with an everyday graphite pencil.
And in fifteen minutes I’d created a portrait that felt like me. Not a likeness of me, of course, but something messier, less confined, more real somehow – wrinkles and all.
It will surely be a long time before I settle down to a style of arting or portraiture that I can truly call my own, but what I am confident in is the journey. The revelations that offer themselves up during the creative process are so very powerful. They’re multi-layered and hugely impactful – they’re not often easily expressed in writing, or spoken word.
And I want to share that experience with as many people as possible. Now, that’s properly exciting!