Abstract self-portrait

When I attended l’École supérieure des beaux-arts de Tour, in France in 1972, one of the assignments was to create an abstract self-portrait. I never got around to painting the final version, but this is the coloured-pencil sketch I did for it.

My idea for it was the experience that there are no boundaries to the Self except the artificial ones of any frame that cordons off an almost arbitrary pocket of the swirling pattern of the universe. The swirls continue beyond what is visible, connected inseparably with the rest of oneness. The blues and greens of this abstract self-portrait were the quiet colours I felt most comfortable with, and so that corner of the universe is where the kernel of seed-like heart energy nestled, but there is no real reason to consider the visible pocket to be the extent of who or what I am. Now, as at age 18, this is still how I experience my selfhood, when I consider it at all.

I do so now because of the paradox of the exercise I am about to engage in: making “myself” visible to “the world” in a more “personal” way than I have so far done through my income-earning-related online presence. In effect, saying, “This is me as a person.”

To do this, I am cordoning off a pocket of the web to serve as a living space for sharing the person-based endeavours of the personality connected to this particular vortex of swirls. Setting up a domain name that is my “actual” name in the social sense might seem to be a bit steeped in the ego aspect of selfhood. Yet being in the world does manifest as a certain localization of apparent personality, and so, here I am.

 

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