November 12, 2008

self portraits and mindscapes

So, it was my 35th birthday on November 8th (yay!) and I celebrated for several days with wonderfully amazing friends! I got my hair cut for the first time in a while and it made me feel all happy. The picture above was taken that day, in the park where I take the Zoey Dog to walk. Whee! Cell Phone self portraits are fun and challenging, and I have been taking a lot of them. It might be that my phone just doesn't have a great camera, but I get a lot of distorted self portraits, but thats sort of neat. I am just starting to get comfortable with sharing images of myself, it was a great fear for a long time. It is interesting for me to look at myself from the outside, from another person's view. I am fascinated by artists who work(ed) in self portrait, particularly women like Freida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman. I have been thinking about that a lot lately, how some artists see themselves from the outside and some from the inside. I tend to look inward, and I don't see a lot of people in what I call my inner mindscape. I don't see myself in my physical form either. I see objects as symbolic and even people become symbols. I can't even say that these visions effect the work that I make very often. But, I have recently been working on a series of tiles that are very personal, which explore some of the inner visions I have. I have been wanting to show these, but they have seemed so personal, it has been hard to work up the courage to show them, and the words to try to explain them. But I think I am ready to start to share them soon, it feels like it is time to step outside of myself a little bit, and share what I see inside...


  1. What a wonderful and thought-provoking post! I can't wait to see what you've created. All of the Thornton kids have at one point or another worked in self-portraits. For a year, I did a self-portrait a day. It was interesting to see how they turned out. I think some of my best work has been rooted in the self-portrait. I think you hit the nail on the head though... it's not necessarily if the piece looks like someone spot on, but that it feels like them. That the image translates into a symbol of the person and that symbol has weight and meaning.

    I like a lot of Cindy Sherman's early work. I actually had the pleasure of going out to her house in the Hamptons and talking with her for awhile. She's very down to earth and practical. I think her early work has a little more grit to it. When I went out to visit her, it was roughly after the time she had done a piece for a Marc Jacobs ad. She was very straight up when it came to that question. She said, "Well, if you see eye to eye with someone and they've got good ideas, and you've got bills to pay and properties to manage, then go for it."

    Anyway, if you like Frida and Cindy, you might like Ana Mendieta.

  2. Happy happy belated bday! We share the same bday. Saturday I celebrated turning 29 for the 5th time. :) My MIL even put a question mark candle on the cake.

    That is a lovely self portrait! Your hair is fantastic.

  3. Thanks for this post Melanie - it gave me courage to slow down and do some inward thinking also. That can be a scary enough sport for me! I'm going to keep checking back for the tiles - they are sure to be an inspiration for all of us...

    Thanks again,

  4. You Are So Pretty!!!!!

    Many Happy Returns of the Day Miss Mellie, belated though I am. Mine is on the 19th!

    I think you're very brave to start showing your outer self. I'm an inward looking person too and camera's are not my friend. Luckily I don't have a phone with a camera. I don't have a cell phone at all - luddite - or I might be inspired to join in your voyage of self exploration.

    Bon Voyage!

  5. happy birthday dear friend. long time no talk!! hope all is well and your work is steady and lovely.

  6. Andrew,
    I think the self portrait a day sounds like an excellent exercise. I think it takes a lot of courage too... to face yourself every day and record that is sort of a scary thought.

    How fascinating that you got to meet Cindy. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that, and the link and other artist reference!

    Thank you so much, and happy birthday to you too!

    Thanks for checking in and checking back. I know I am a bit random with the posting lately, so I appreciate you coming to read. And I am glad I made you think too.

    Happy birthday to you too! Yes, the cell phone has become an excellent tool for me. But I do think I need a proper camera soon. I think for Christmas I will ask for one...

    Good to hear from you too! Hee Hee, I have declared it is my birthday this whole month, or until I have a piece of birthday pie. I am trying to hold out until Thanksgiving!