I've just finished working on "Yes, this is me 2". This version probably looks a lot like the first one I posted a few days ago, but there are a fair number of subtle differences which I think improve the piece. I outlined my entire body, for example, so that, even though it's disappearing into the dark, you can still discern where the legs, hip, other breast, and arm belong. It's subtle, but I think it helps. I also worked on some details on my face. I had had the nose too small so I brought it down a bit and worked on the shape of the lips. It's very difficult for me to discern those issues, so I'm grateful to Chris, my husband, who can see them in a heartbeat and is generous enough to point them out.
I've enjoyed creating this piece. It has felt like a labor of love. My dad's death, though somewhat expected since he died from complications of 7-8 years of living with Alzheimer's, has been painful. I'm learning that the death of any close relative or friend will bring up many, many emotions. That sounds obvious - grief, of course, is the main emotion - but it is also an opportunity to look at relationships, not only with the deceased, but also with other family members. I have had many opportunities to work with my feelings these past few weeks. This painting is but one of many vehicles for doing so.
When I was painting it, I felt happy, content, absorbed, intent. As usual, I focused on the hue, form, shadow, line - the artistic elements - but occasionally the power of the image would assert itself and I would experience a surge of compassion for myself, for my father, for my other family members who are also grieving. It was deeply moving and healing to create this painting.
I look forward to having it in the show in Williamsburg in Feb: From Hurt to Harmony.