An Artist’s Journey II – The ‘Pretentious’ Portraits

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We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

                                                                                             – Roald Dahl


As mentioned in my previous post my work will start to focus more on Femininity. (if you missed the previous post please follow this link 


Femininity, and being a woman, me. The artist is always present in their work, as I strongly believe art is always personal.  The feelings and ideas that I associate with it. Often mixed and confused feelings. Immersed in absolute indecisiveness, I hover in a gray area. Never knowing what to do. Deciding on breakfast cereal becomes a long debate in my mind, often settling for a third option that I don’t even like or want. It becomes nearly impossible to pick sides as I see validity in both sides.


The portraits will at first be only of woman, not necessarily me. Showing their  strength and power. The women portrayed are in control of their surroundings. They seem like they belong.     


Elements of a baroque pattern will feature in the background. The Baroque pattern originated in the Baroque time. This is a cultural movement that started in the 1600’s and throughout till the 1800’s. It was there to impress. The detail was there to produce drama and show grandeur. It projects power and control. Its excessive ornamentation will be enhanced with fine lace like pattern.


This can relate to figure herself, she can be someone powerful and dramatic; or she could only be projecting it. Almost the idea of “Fake it till you make it”. A wonderful artist friend told me about a TED talk by Amy Cuddy, ‘Your body language shapes who you are’. This strengthens the idea of how you handle yourself and project to the outside world, will be what you become on the inside, even if you don’t feel it at first, it will later become who you are. I often can not remember how I was able to be an art teacher for grade 8-12 students. How did I stand up in front of those classes, I am shy and scared of stages. I think I approached it in a way that the classroom became my stage, and the kids the audience, and I gave them a show. If you removed me from the classroom I felt uncomfortable and out of place.


“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” 
― Kurt VonnegutMother Night


So in essence I pretended to be a teacher and that became part of who I was. Initially I started to pretend to be an artist, faking it till I make it. Learning valuable lessons every day. Slowly I am pretending less and less. Thus the pretense of these women can also be a way to protect themself and give them a place of safety. A way to become what they are pretending to be.


At this stage they will be women, but with this subject matter I can easily transcend gender, and make it more universal. The human condition of pretend. Pretending we are fine, pretending our country is fine, pretending to be an artist 😉 etc. If we don’t acknowledge what is going on around us, we might be able to forget it or even ignore it? An interesting world of pretend.


We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
― Roald Dahl

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