3. This assignment was to do a self-portrait pencil sketch and incorporate symbols that reflect something about ourselves. As I was sketching one fine day, feeling like “death warmed over” the images of swords flashed so that’s what I incorporated, not thinking about the symbolism until . . . .
. . . one of the participants asked me “why the swords?” and here’s what came to mind:
I was very fatigued and couldn’t bring myself to move to a table so sat on couch, my sketch book in my lap, holding a mirror in one hand, sketching myself with the other hand. The image of swords popped in my mind.
They are a part of my hair because I (we all) carry a sense of the precarious, the dangerous with us, each in a different way. As I drew myself I was struck by how my internal image I have of myself is not what I saw in the mirror and what I saw has become someone I don’t recognize. The knives evolved in my mind of living on the knife’s edge.
There were originally 4 knives and I eliminated one. Now I’m wondering if they are also symbolic of “time” – past & present on the left (touching/intertwined) and future on the right??
Looking at the picture now, more detached, it appears almost as if my throat has been slit (I drew the shadow/wrinkle on my neck). It’s a disturbing picture but very reflective of how I feel when I’m in a flare of symptoms.
I call this “Self Portrait with Pears”. I tore up another charcoal picture that I didn’t like and pasted it on an acrylic painting of a bowl of pears that was a practice assignment from 2 years ago. The bowl of pear picture is upside down . . . if you’re wondering where the pears went . . .