Monday, February 2, 2009

How The Artist See's Himself

This is an oil on canvas self portrait of the artist, he painted it in 1913. He was 31 years old, just a year older than I am now.
Lately I have been realizing how hard it is to see oneself. My mind interprets me differently from moment to moment. John said trying to understand my moods is like watching a fish under the water, you never know where its going. Sadly, this feels true.
N.C. Wyeth paints himself white in a dark room. At this point he was a famed illustrator who wanted to be known as a painter. He made a great living illustrating for magazines and books (Treasure Island, Robin Hood, Last of the Mohicans) but he felt painting was the more impressive craft. And paint he did, he tried landscapes in an Impressionist style and portraits that recall the work of the American Regionalist artists, but he never really got what he wanted. I guess it wasn't the enormous house and flooding bank account he was after. I think he enjoyed living there, and I think his illustrations and his paintings prove he had a fantastic imagination into which he could escape. But I get the feeling that at times even great big fish dart here and there in search of something.

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