Self-Portrait and Mountains

Many moons ago, I won an award for my artistic talents and was immediately counselled to drop the art program. That same year, I wrote my first novel, and after it was graded, I burnt it. I wasn’t meant to be creative, I decided, and obediently signed up for advanced math and other academic subjects.

For decades following, I admired the creativity of others and bemoaned the fact that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. Now that I have put that nonsense behind me, and reconnected with that younger self, I am revelling in exploration.

And, still rolling in the mire of self-doubt.

I am very conscientious of the fact that I have not been a student of art – that I wouldn’t recognize a Gaugin from a Renoir without some prodding. I don’t know the technical terms and when I read artists’ blogs, I am often lost. Does this make me an imposter? I wonder.

Still, I plod along – my work station a permanent corner of our abode (we dine on our laps) – each day daring myself to try something new. Thus the self-portrait.

Mostly, I am focusing on sketching, and liking where the extensive pencil work is taking me. This mountain scene is inspired by the large rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park. Less focused on realism, I find I am more liberal with the watercolours.

Each new venture is a learning.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. Comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

16 thoughts on “Self-Portrait and Mountains

  1. I used to feel like an impostor, too. But then I realized that the difference between me and artists was that artists called themselves artists. I began calling my workshop a studio, and considering the design and creation of my stained glass panels to be art, and lo and behold, I am now an artist! And the same with being a poet. I really like what you’ve created with the self-portrait and the landscape. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, V.J. these are excellent works of visual art. I really like what you do with watercolor. Keep this up – eating on your lap is fine! 🙂 Now that our kids have moved out, I have taken over the front room that has the best light and made it into my art room (and meditation room, too). I recently tidied it up and yesterday felt so inspired I did a watercolor and a colored pencil piece. I hope to use them as the graphic for two future poems I hope to post.

    Thank you for sharing your art with us. It is inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re so talented and creative V.J.! I can’t believe you ever thought you had no creativity. I absolutely love your self-portrait. As someone who really DOESN’T have any creativity, I would never have thought of using all those colors for your hair and the shading, but it’s just so perfect for your portrait. You’ve given me hope that I can discover some sort of artistry hidden within me during these later years of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

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