flight from reality

December 8. 1999

My full length self-portrait is finally done.

And I am SO proud of it.

Having gotten the majority of it finished last weekend in that marathon drawing session that left me twitching and brain dead on the floor, it was pretty painless to finish what needed to done. I had only the face to do (I always seem to leave that to last) and the background. In my mind, they're extremely important parts of the drawing, because the expression on my face would pretty much set the mood for the whole drawing. I was also a little nervous because I'm not particularly good at likenesses, mine or anyone else's. I used to be, but I think I've fallen out of practice. Maybe that will be a winter break project.

I gave the background a lot of thought too, before finally deciding on a sort of surrealist canyon and mountains. I left them pretty fuzzy and vague, which would help them recede into the background and also to give a sense of fantasy and dreaminess. I also drew a dead dragon in the background, which I had just slain. All in all, it works really well compositionally, which is what I was worried about the most. I'm probably making you all curious to see it...the pictures of it will be up soon, hopefully this weekend when I am home and have access to the scanner, and have money to get the pictures developed. Once I get a scanner, this journal will have some kind of daily picture to go along with it, whether it be a photograph or drawing. I really can't wait to make this journal more visually oriented, since that seems to be my forte.

It was interesting to look all the self-portraits in progress last week in drawing class. A LOT of people are drawing themselves naked, which I find pretty interesting. Nudity can be interpreted so many ways in art. It can mean vulnerability, most obviously, but it can also convey a sense of power, not only in the power of shock (which is a short lived and ultimately uneffecting power), but also the idea of stripping down to nothing (whether physically or emotionally) and put yourself on display, and still being able to look people in the eye. I personally can't do that, not yet, but I admire the people who can, and I hope one day I'll be confident enough to do that.

Until then, I hide under the guise of fantasy. When I spoke about my ideas in class last week, the thing I said I was most interested in was conveying a sense of power. Now I realize that may not be the only reason. I think I am trying to hide, too. Hide behind the fantasy of me being someone brave enough to go and slay a dragon. I've always hid behind my fantasies. Reality is not always my favorite thing in the world, which probably explains my life long obsession with dragons, unicorns, horses, faeries and the like. I always wanted some sort of escape, even when I was little. I would pretend I was a tiger, or a horse, and prowl around the house growling and neighing to my mother and sister. I hated playing house (perhaps rejection of domestic life? it's so freudian...heh), and if I did, I always wanted to be the dog.

I think art is my escape now, since if I pretended to be a horse now, all I'd get was strange looks. But sometimes I think I'm something else. Whenever I'm the observer, I'm a tiger or a cheetah or a house cat, just watching through half closed eyes, appearing disinterested but taking everything in. Whenever I get mad, I'm some carnivorous animal, and I want blood. I've gotten into the habit of making little animal sounds lately whenever I get frustrated. And when I really get attached to or enamored with a person, I literally want to take a bite out of them and really get to know what they're made of. I get really intense in some of my relationships, and sometimes I think that really turns people off.

Or maybe I'm just becoming a freak in my old age.

Maybe the escape is good. Maybe it's bad. It's probably something I need every now and then. I can't handle reality all the time, so it's good to have something to fall back on. When I make my art, in any form, I create my own world. And that's what I love.

music: To the Teeth, Ani DiFranco
food: i am a pepsi whore.
read: still nothing. I used to be literate.
sight: computer lab.
song lyric:
i know this bar / with a jukebox full of medicine /
and Christmas lights blinking around a clouded mirror
- I Know This Bar, Ani DiFranco