Friday, February 10, 2012

"The Portrait"

“A wonderful painting is the result of the feeling in your fingers.
 If you have the feeling of the thickness of the ink in your brush,
the painting is already there before you paint.
When you dip your brush into the ink you already know the result of your drawing,
or else you cannot paint.
So before you do something, "being" is there, the result is there.
Even though you look as if you were sitting quietly,
all your activity, past and present, is included,
and the result of your sitting is also already there.”
- D.T. Suzuki

          An embellishment of a print entitled, "The Portrait."  Hidden in the shadows of the women's presence is an overlay of a newspaper photo of Anthony D. Woods, a St. Louis man who spent more than 18 years in prison for rape of a white woman for which DNA testing exonerated him.  Another overlay includes a Cardinal closing the doors to take a vote for the new Pope, behind closed doors.
          As my kindergartners work on their self-portraits I wonder what their futures hold.

Excerpt from The Daimon:

          Green Eyed Lady, a self-portrait of a younger Elisabeth looking out across time, stays in Trailer G gazing at the school children sitting on the carpet gathered at Ms. Elisabeth’s feet.  Painted in a post-modern yet Renaissance style, a Mona Lisa pose¸ Green Eyed Lady looks softly but directly at the viewer as if to see through layers of skin and tissue, down to the bone—through the marrow—into the soul. 
Green Eyed Lady sits and reminds Elisabeth that teaching helps her re-shape her own life from the past--to create wholeness.

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