Today, Rachael came to paint a self-portrait. Frieda Kahlo and Giuseppe Arcimboldo were our inspiration. I had ideas that we would create about six different types of self-portrait today, but we have only touched the surface – we created two types.
Firstly, we made lists of what is important to us, events, people, passions, work, whatever we felt was important.
And then the paper came out. Rachael wanted the big sheets.
Frieda Kahlo often painted aspects of herself and world in her paintings. This was the aim. Interestingly, Rachael felt the aspects of herself all belonged on different sheets and so found it difficult to put them on one sheet. An interesting series arose, the common thread being a sense of movement. Colour also stood out.
I painted trees, a colourful dress, Genevieve and Miranda’s (my daughters’ hair – to represent them) Mum on her last day, waves, an eye and my freckles.
And then Giuseppe Arcimboldo, an early caricaturist, who painted the seasons like leafy, woody old men. Not saying we’re that….we took inspiration. Rachael didn’t have a favourite season, but likes the sea, so she drew a seaweed necklace, shells, seahorses, snails and a seagull, to show this aspect of herself that is drawn to the sea. And her face was in profile, a three-quarters profile.
I could see her in this picture.
I painted straight on, with autumn leaves, green, browns, oranges, reds and yellow in my hair. My favourite season.
Thank you for painting today, Rachael, and for so much more.