Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Becoming a Girl

I had a chance today to work on the piece I began a couple of weeks ago and had been avoiding ever since.  I had a great first day with it then left it on the easel til today.  Why was I avoiding it, you might well ask?  Well!  I had begun it by splashing paint all over and wanted to keep with that looseness, but I couldn't figure out how to do it.  (If you've been reading my blog lately, you'll notice that's been a theme the last few weeks since Thomas's workshop.) 

Today I decided that I wanted to work on it and what it needed was detail work so that the face would look better.  That's not a tricky thing for me to do usually - details are what I do well.  So it went pretty well, and I think she looks better.

I realize that when I've talked about this piece before, I haven't talked about the story behind it at all like I usually do with my models. 

This young woman is, as I suppose is rather obvious if you look at the painting carefully, in the process of changing genders.  She was born male and has come to realize that she feels like a woman so she has decided to go through the process of making her body congruent with her feelings about herself.  I am in awe of her courage.  I think it must be very difficult to feel like you were born in the wrong body then to decide to do something about it, despite all the messages society would inflict about that choice.  I love the strength of her pose in this picture and how clearly and straightforwardly she stares at the viewer, bold, proud, clear.

I wish her many wonderful years as a woman.  May it be exactly as she imagines.

1 comment:

  1. Susan: What a fitting painting to be working on at this time. Changes come in all kinds of ways, sometimes big and dramatic, sometimes sneaking in like a little draft thru the window, often ambiguously. And then, here is you, and your model, facing change square on.
    Love it.