The Assignment, I didn’t believe.
Interacting with the world around me, makes me look at myself. I don’t always want to be the person I am perceived to be, but sometimes I have to accept that like real estate, no two people share the same view. The assignment, draw a self portrait. This began the series, and a new way of seeing myself.
Portrait 1: I must have been 19. Looking at it now, I see unsure shoulders. I think I would draw them overtly broad and strong now, like Romus’. I didn’t look at myself then, the way I do now. I wore the hat, because I didn’t want to draw my hair. Shelly’s braids were on point, and deserved proper rendering, I didn’t believe I was good… enough.
People told me I was good. I was still looking for good outside myself. I wanted to be good, and was looking for it in the people close to me. Had I believed I was good, I would have been great then. Great was extra-terrestrial, like my left-face and right-neck in Portrait 1.
I had just learned the joys of 4B and 6B pencils. Started with shaved graphite and a chamois, for a medium ground. I was digging the feel of drawing with erasers, and getting physical to blend lights and dark. I really never spent enough time on homework then. I was about getting paid, being of service and “being responsible”, if I wasn’t on an adventure, or clinging to something that felt safe. I was so unprepared.
Portrait 2 (Featured): I had to redo the assignment, because I didn’t fill the page. So, I did. This time using a mirror, instead of tweaking (passing off) an old portrait from my previous class. Now 20, wearing my ironed, but unpressed uniform. When I was done sitting for myself, I still hadn’t managed to plan my proportions well enough to fill the page.
More pencil, less eraser. I went back to creating out of nothing, instead of trying to mold the (graphite) foundation that was already there with a kneaded eraser. That was messy and time consuming. I always started with the eyes, guessing the proportions. My head was too small. No time to start over. Feeling defeated, I drew the hand to take up the rest of the white space. It came out fairly well. For some reason, my peace sign didn’t come out right. Though it wasn’t directed towards him, my instructor, Richard Glazer-Danay, may have taken it personally. I did. I had gotten on my nerves, and failed to blow my own mind. The button was a part of the uniform. The position was moved from the shirt, to the hand, to aid in censorship. I do like to help.
I should not give that which I cannot forgive. I should not agree to help someone if it will lead me to hold them in contempt. I should not retaliate when someone treats me badly. Pettiness is in and of itself, worthless. I should not display behaviour that I will not accept from someone else. I Will not. I will not give that. When I decline, please keep it in mind, that I’m not giving that which needs to be forgiven. Because I have so much to forgive, if I want to be forgiven.
So here, take your shit back. It’s too heavy a load for me.