I was listening to one of my Spotify mixes the other day, the Playlist is called “The Buzz”, I believe. It’s controlled by someone else and I enjoy how it is always evolving and adding new songs. A very catchy song came on with the refrain “Pablo Picasso isn’t an asshole”. I was preoccupied with other things, so I didn’t look for the title, nor the band name. When I finished with my preoccupation, two things happened: I envisioned a new painting based of a work by David Park… this one being more self-portrait and projection of where ‘d like to be, as well as how I see my artist-self.

As I stood in front of my black canvas, arms crossed to alive some of the tension in my back; I saw myself standing in a well known Picasso-like pose, wearing one of the French-stripped shirts I so often see him with in photos… the see and sky behind me… a resolute stare, crossed arms, and slight bulge of a belly showing self-acceptance. It occurred to me that Picasso’s self-awareness was far greater than I ever imagined in my first encounters with anecdotes of his exploits; he accepted himself unapologetically and that is perhaps what made him so charismatic. His self-acceptance was expressed by great confidence. That is how I want to be, feel, and seen.

I’ve done many self-portraits, but never with a clear intension of what I want to express. My intension with this one is to express my perceived self as confidently and vulnerably as I can.

Stay with me for a while as I show you the development of my choices on this piece…

Starting with my initial marks done in charcoal that always breaks my fear to start and motivates me to cover the canvas in paints! I am learning to balance my excited I’m patience with the need to consider the impacts of each choice… it’s a reflective process that I hope will make me a better teacher and artist.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome…

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