–Los Autoretratos

My first attempt at portraiture was a painting of a good friend for her wedding, which later evolved (several times) into the American Woman Triptych (current revision begun in Oct 2011, finished Jan 2012). But before I jumped in too far, I tried a self-portrait (The Administrator, 1999), just to see if I could do it. Again, in Oaxaca, surrounded by extraordinary folk, fine and historical art, when I finally picked up my own paint brush, I dipped my toe in at the same spot (Yo en Oaxaca–La Pintora Gringa, 2002).

Since then, I’ve found that self-portraits often launch a change in direction or an experiment with a new method or perspective. I’m the only one consistently around and willing to sit for hours while I work out the latest trauma, insight, transition, loss–or just a visual theme–so it’s often where I begin.

Occasionally, however, I have a story (as in the first row of paintings below, Bone Women: The Taunting Embrace of Life as an Artist, or their predecessors, the Mother’s Milk paintings in the second row) or a moment (Sleep, Roadkill, Sleep, in the third row; or Winter 58 and The Change in the last row), that I feel I need to speak to…

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