It may seem obvious to the rest of you (but it's easy for me to forget somehow) that I can paint whatever I want. Within the limits of my talent and skills I can paint anything in any way I wish. But it's not that easy, to me. In my mind there seem to be all sorts of expectations and reasons crowding in around me, and the space is much smaller than you might think. Like what you can see in the light of a midnight campfire.
I'm unable to get beyond my small bubble of murky light. I'm afraid to trip over things in the dark further away. I don't want to get stung or bitten. I don't want to fall. I'm worried I won't be able to find my way back to the fireside. I'm afraid my nearest will not recognize me and their faces will reflect me a stranger.
Then events conspire to push back the boundaries or, better yet, the sun comes up for a bit and I can see further than usual. Further for me. I'm still oddly limited in what I will attempt, or in what I will imagine, but my reach is extended.
Yesterday I had a lot of pent up emotions, and it came to boil just as everyone else was leaving for a play. So I stormed around the house alone, moving furiously from one chore to another, moving things fast and slamming what was safe to slam, and cussing and snarling and enjoying it. And after about twenty minutes of that I felt surprisingly free to paint.
So I did this. And I worked on it some more today.
I don't always feel like I have a beard - my inner artist (when I catch glimpses of him) is clean shaven. And lately my eyebrows are getting crazier, reaching all over. I keep them trimmed, but I wonder what would happen if I let them go. So I thought of a self portrait with my facial hair gone wild, expressing more of me than I feel it does now.
19 x 19 Watercolor and a little white charcoal.