I have a special relationship with all my self portraits but Self Portrait I has become a signature piece for me. Stylistically, the loose brushwork, textured surface and bold colors are representative of my work. But the introspective pose capturing me in an inspirational moment of fiery creativity is what makes this particular painting a sort of avatar for me as an artist. I have always felt that this piece portrayed my creative essence and often used it in place of a artist photograph for publicity .
While I painted this years ago, it was not until last summer that I found out why it so resonated with my identity of myself as an artist and writer. I had sought out aura photography as I am someone sensitive to energies and have been exploring that side of my life. I met with an intuitive healer and arranged to have an aura photograph taken. The result was a bust portrait that surrounded my head with yellows and oranges and my throat area with reds. Vibrant greens rested over my heart area (this was cut off in the printed version of the photograph) . The colors that showed up in my aura were explained to me to reflect an artist (orange center) with an intense desire to communicate through talking and writing (red throat). The green heart references energies for healing and teaching, two areas in which i work.
I was immediately struck by the similar color palette and color placement of Self Portrait I to the photograph of my aura. I understand that auras are in constant flux and ever changing but I trust that this photograph captured a life portraiture of sorts. I then understood why I had always felt that the self portrait had so captured ‘me’. The aura photograph not only validated my life path as an artist and writer but also my ability to express energies invisible to the naked eye. It was no accident that I chose those colors and placement in my self portrait. It validated that my artistic expression comes from an inner place of awareness.
This painting has now taken on an additional meaning to me. It serves as a reminder of my intuitive insight and that my art expresses that knowing. Design principles and art theory, while important for artists to master, are tools that serve an artistic vision that is innate. My creative work is birthed from a reservoir of knowing and as long as I trust that knowledge, my art will be genuine.