Re-creating Myself (in Paint) / by Leslie

Next week I begin a 4-week fine art class with artist Bascha Mon. Her recent work is here. I'm very excited. I love beginnings and I have wanted to get serious about fine art for years. I am also nervous as hell. I haven't made any kind of real art since college. I do take photographs and I worked as a graphic designer but the approach to those disciplines is so different. Photography and design can be so technical with cameras and computers and it often comes from your brain. Fine art is made with your hands and I think it more often comes from your heart. 

Sharon Dowell's studio is pictured above. There are more studio shots here.
She's my new favorite artist. I found her here.

 I'm really looking forward to doing some self-exploration. Having children can be so consuming. It can take over every aspect of your life. At least it has for me. It dictates what clothes I wear (cotton, washable), when I go to bed (early), what I have for dinner (pasta/pizza again?!).

Before I had kids I was determined not to let it take over. I could be myself and just have kids around, right? But I quickly realized that it's pretty hard to maintain many of things that were important in my pre-kids life and it's much easier to just accept and embrace the life changes. I love my life as a mother, but I would also like to start building something just for me.

I need to rediscover myself, look at myself in a different light. I'm old enough now that I can more easily reflect back on my past and see it more clearly. I'm ready to start dreaming of the future again. I feel like I accomplished the goals that I had five years ago (staying home from work, having 2 children, moving upstate) and it's time to begin the next 5 year cycle. The last cycle was all about creating my family, this next cycle will be more about re-creating myself and it's going to be fun to do it in paint.

Below is a self-portrait that I painted in high school. It's dark and moody and intense. I'd like to try to paint a new one, see where it takes me. It would be interesting to compare it to this one.

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