Saturday, November 7, 2009

A model's response to being photographed and painted by me

Below is what one of my models wrote about my photographing her.  Her statement is accompanied by all the paintings I have done of her to date.  She has been an incredible inspiration to me!   It is women like her who are the reason I am doing this work.

Nudes – An Act in Self Love

I am happy to say that after many years of therapy and spiritual work I am moving fully into loving myself. My work is not done, however. I still have areas where I resist loving myself completely and unconditionally, like the way I have rejected my body. I want to love and accept her just as she is, even as she inevitably changes. I am challenged by her size and shape and the sagging reality of aging after years of trying to escape life using food and neglect. Losing almost 30 pounds in 2008 has been a major step toward loving this body and taking better care of her. Continuing this care is an evolving story that I do not know the ending to….beyond that it inevitably ends. I intend that the story unfold full of unconditional love and joy. I want that to radiate through me and to do that I continue to clean house. In 2007 I did a workshop with Arjuna Ardagh at Omega Institute where he had us sit beside a pillow and place our animal bodies on the pillow to speak to us from its innate wisdom. We would switch places as we assumed the role of our natural animal bodies and then our regular consciousness. My body’s first statement to me was, “You tried to kill me.” My response was, “I know, I am sorry.” My second statement from my body was, “I am here for you no matter what.” I wept.

I know my body deserves better from me than I have often given her. I must fully love her as she is and take the steps to care and tend her with love and acceptance. It is time to transform. So I begin and continue in stops and starts. I wish to give myself the gift of health and body ease while not rejecting the largeness of me, while not falling into the right/wrong of social conditioning that says I have to look a certain way to be acceptable. The Universe has given me such gifts as I take this journey. I have found an amazing young lover who sees me and accepts me as I am completely. He does not look to change anything about me and in his love of my uniqueness I learn to give that to myself as well. In intending more love for myself and taking actions toward that intention the Universe has given me a living example of unconditional love. His care and delight for this body opens doors in my soul to let the light of more self acceptance in.

When my friend told me of Susan Singer’s work I quickly accepted the chance to be photographed nude. A little over a year ago I would have refused and avoided the truthful lens. As I review the amazing pictures Susan has taken I revel in my enjoyment of this body I see so fully exposed. She generously shared all of the pictures with me on disks so I can see each and every angle. Some shots are certainly more becoming than others. The hardest ones for me to see are of me standing where the realities of gravity decorate my body with sags and ripples. I am still working on fully loving the sagging. As I continue loosing weight the sagging will likely become more exaggerated. Sometimes I see the fat laughing Buddha and smile thinking, I am that. What Buddha will emerge next? The roundness that I find becoming will diminish and I will need more acceptance of whatever emerges. I work to accept what I am in each moment. Susan’s camera gave me the opportunity to continue my journey of self love and acceptance. Her tender professionalism made the shoot easy and delightful. I am so grateful for this amazing experience. Thank You and Bless You Susan!

1 comment:

  1. After reading this entry and the one below on 12 Naked Men, I realize how important it is in my own process as a viewer of art to get a glimpse inside the artist's process.

    For me, an artist statement just doesn't give me enough at an opening to know enough about an artist. Most are univiting, hastely written abstract representations done out of obligation. Your blog has really opened my eyes to how important conveying who were are as artists is, beyond just the medium we work in.

    I have a theory that one of the reasons patrons invest in our work is because they fall in love with us and by purchasing this love, they are able to love and honor a part of themselves that yearns for that intuitive, creative connection that we are able to manifest.

    I am a real fan of your work now because of the commitment you've made to express yourself on your blog. Had you simply been an artist I met on facebook, I think a relationship like this would have taken much more time to develop, if it would have developed at all.

    Keep up the great work!