Tuesday, May 7, 2013

More Portraiture . . .

May I just begin by saying thanks so much for all your supportive and thoughtful comments! Time to just keep on keeping on, I'd say. And despite the potential problems with Anonymous comments -- besides those who choose to comment negatively yet do not identify themselves, there is a huge problem right now with spam -- in case you wonder why so many comments seem to have been deleted by "the blog administrator," I do that to save you from being directed, in often quite incompetent English and very obviously fake content, to websites that will exhort you to buy . . . . something -- Where was I? Oh yes, despite all the potential problems, I'm going to try to hang on to  the Anonymous comments option for now just because so many very welcome commenters find that the best approach for their comfort zone. Not saying I'll keep it forever, but as long as I can manage. . . . 
And now for something completely different, and much more lighthearted!

I've written before about portraits of women, self-image, and that turn in art history when women began to exert some control over their representation and gaze.  In that series, I even shared some references to a nude portrait my good friend painted of me. . . And ended that series and that post with a reference to a very young Nola recognizing her Nana in that nude painting.

Now she's old enough to try capturing me on paper herself. Above, the first Nana by Nola portrait to decorate my fridge, gallery-hung back in November 2012.
Below an addition to that exposition hung in February 2013. . .
This last visit, she decided to focus on what she calls my "crazy hair" -- she always giggles when she says that, but watches anxiously to make sure I understand she means the description kindly.
Recently, there's been much chatter in social media, both positive and negative, about the Dove Real Beauty Sketches. I could probably come down on either side of that debate, although my cynical self would want to be heard. Meanwhile, though, I'm enjoying watching another young girl learning to express herself visually, and I cross my fingers, wish on a star, blow on a candle, whatever it takes, hoping that she will hang onto her confidence with a felt pen or a pencil or a big fat wax crayon. . .

Below, her exuberant drawing of us in the boat (that's the motor on the right, the night-light stick at the left. Granddad is steering, Nola has a bow in her long hair, and you can spot Nana's crazy hair, I'm sure. She added a few extra riders, wishing her Mom and Dad into the picture.
And as we talked about her drawing, and she pointed out the crabs below the waves, her dad hanging on behind, I mentioned that her Auntie Rhiannon had asked about her on the phone. She wondered why, and I said, "Well, she misses you. She really loves you, y'know?"

"My whole family really loves me, Nana."

They do indeed, you dear little artist. They do indeed. . . .
May that confidence and ability to express your view continue to grow. Even if it means that every portrait you draw of me features my "Crazy Hair"!

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the beautiful artwork by your granddaughter and thank you for keeping the ability to post as Anonymous. Love your blog.
    Jane

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    1. Aw, you're welcome, Jane. Thank you!

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  2. And look at the big smile she drew on your face! Full heart!

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  3. I know we love whatever our near and dear create, no matter their ability, but I swear that little girl is talented. Seriously.

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  4. I love kids' art ... One of the best things I ever did when my daughter was little (5) was get her to draw a picture of each family member, which I put in a frame together. That picture - crazy hair (me when it's long) and other hilarious features - is one of the things I'd grab in a fire ...

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    1. You were smart to do that. I had one particular favourite I was saving, but it should have gone right to the frame for safety's sake. . . .

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  5. Now that boat picture is definitely worth framing!

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    1. You're right! And I should put my money where my mouth is (see above comment). . . ah, you guys inspire me!

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  6. It's interesting to watch the development of Nola's art from the one figure to the detailed family in the boat. Family life on the island is very important to her. I hope that she can keep the knowledge that she is loved by her whole family in her heart forever. Confidence and the knowledge that she is loved are the most important gifts that you can give a little girl!

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    1. I think so too, Madame. I was so happy to hear her state so matter-of-factly that her whole family loves her. It's such a solid foundation to build a life on, right?

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  7. I enjoyed the artwork but it was the simplicity of her statement that her whole family loves her that I found most endearing.

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    1. That's what really moved me as well, Ilona!

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  8. Wonderful art, and an even more wonderful artist. I love the way kids really see what's around them, unvarnished and unfiltered.

    When a friend's nevvie was a wee lad, he drew a portrait of his mother that was a stick figure with two rather large circles on her torso near her arms. When his gran asked him what they were, he said, "Those are her big boobies." "But Mummy hasn't got big boobies," Gran protested. "Oh, yes she HAS!" was the young artist's reply. (Having met Mummy, I have to agree with his assessment.)

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    1. Too funny! I rather suspect your friend may have chosen NOT to frame that particular portrait! ;-)

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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