Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Power of a Portrait

Mixed-media Conceptual Self-Portrait In Progress
Self Portrait~It's not you, it's Me.
From exploring themes of Interracial Identity to the modern Selfie, self-portraits are still empowering. 

"From early Greeks to present day, people have used self-study and self-observation to explore identity and sense of self." ~ Pamela Rutledge, Psychology Today

"We're conditioned to believe that external validations is a necessary substitute for self-confidence. Furthermore, to have any positivity toward yourself is deeply stigmatized, policed by accusations of narcissism and superficiality.The real anxiety with girls and selfies is that selfies might provide girls with the means to create their own positive image of themselves, thereby severely diluting the impact of outside opinion....You don't have to apologize for noticing yourself. Drink yourself in. Celebrate yourself. Never feel guilty for announcing your presence. You deserve to fill up space. "~ Erin Tatum
Be Your Own Beloved explores the use of self portraits as a means to self-care. From Frida Kahlo's expression of  suffering to my own survival, self-portraits empower. In the grand scheme of things, let's not forget the convenience and practicality of it.  If you are an artist, painting a self-portrait means that there is always a free model available.

Why Own A Commissioned Portrait? 

If you are NOT an artist, what does it mean to own an artist's rendering of yourself when you could easily have a photograph? If an image is worth a thousand words, what does a portrait say about what's in a name? In modern culture, why is it important for the artist to actually meet the subject instead of just drawing or painting from a digital exchange of images?  
"The fast changing landscape of surveillance and the globalisation of digital imagery calls for the counterpoint of intense, 'local' imagery contained within a painting. The possibilities of allegory and complex meaning are distinct: the symbolic realm can come to the fore. The conveying of character in a painted portrait is specific and dynamic. There is a process described through paint - an intensity to the relationship between artist and sitter - which produces a different character from the medium of photography. And it is this intensity, often freed from the conventions of previous periods which, gives a great portrait its authority." ~Sandy Nairne

Although photographs were a point of reference combined with two studio sittings, Paul Emsley was going to paint Kate Middleton without a smile. Until, he met her. Although the final painting received much public criticism, Kate believed it was a beautiful and authentic depiction of her natural self.
"Rarely are painted portraits judged solely by the accuracy of the depiction. Artists try to eke out the emotional character on the visage of their model...The first step in portraiture is always meeting the client or model."~ Artist Daily
"A photograph image is only a second of life time: Say cheese ...and you'll freeze. So, it may capture the moment but it may not capture the person. Very often we hear, "I am not very photogenic." ...of course YOU ARE. That is what the camera, the heartless tool, does- it takes everything, what is necessary and what is not. This is where the difference between the camera and the artist come into play, because the ARTIST CAN SELECT." ~Igor V. Babailov from Master of Ascending Realism
In my portrait drawings, I combine the use of photography with classical life-drawing skills, training, and practice. This combination, although it does not meet my true aspirations for life-drawing, does aid in overcoming the neurological impairments imposed on me by arachnoiditis. My experience drawing from life prior to the onset of arachnoiditis informs each portrait that I create with an authentic individual character that cannot be achieved simply in an exchange of digital images and information.  

Your tax-deductible contributions obtained via the Arachnoiditis Survivor: Portrait of Resilience project at AIM|Hatchfund will finance a powerful connection between survivors that cannot be obtained in any other way. Upon project completion, these empowering portraits will be displayed in a public exhibition dedicated to Arachnoiditis Awareness and Prevention Efforts. Submit your tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you. 

SheilaLynnK Art Studio is a for-profit business faithfully invested in the healing power of art and dedicated to Community ActionThe project budget is available for public review. 

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