Here’s one from 1982 near the end of my therapy with Lee (see recent posts). The overtly sexual parts of my body are completely blacked out, but thankfully I’ve got green going in my arms, hands, and brain, on my nose and very importantly, in my eyes. In this way, the picture is very hopeful because it shows that I am becoming a person of agency and vision.
Lots of trouble areas though; some parts of my body are colorless—not even registering. My ankles flare, which depicts difficulty standing up for self. Most of my brain is aflame and my jaw—well, I look as though I’m gagged. My stomach and thighs are the biggest areas of concern, a huge block of pain.
This portrait is a map with regard to infant surgery. I was probably tied down on the operating table, my head immobilized, my legs restrained at the ankles and thighs and my middle secured. Other drawings I’ve made show similar places of tension on my body.
Recently, my partner told me that my body has really transformed, especially in the last five years. According to her, I’m a lot more fluid and flowing. When she first said this, I couldn’t picture myself in this way. I think I am more like this self-portrait, full of shields, danger zones, and off-limits areas. She’s right though; I have changed. If I drew a self-portrait today, I’d use a lot more green and bring in bright yellow, my favorite color. Purple would be in order, too. Swirls would also circle in.
Ok, I feel a self-portrait coming on. Over the weekend, I’ll trace the outline of my body in this picture and fill in the new colors. Can’t wait to see what I look like! Can’t wait to share it with you!