art, artist, arts, brush strokes, canvas, cave painting, Celtic, Christian artist, eye, illustration, J B Phillips, Mischa, native american, oil painting, paint, painter, painting, Paul, portrait, princess, quotes, urban, war paint
What a morning! The unusually hot weather we’re having at the moment made sleep last night, well… challenging. The result was that painting today felt at times like wading through treacle, mentally and physically! However I think I’ve come pretty nearly to a point of completion for my latest project.
I wanted to portray the elegance and perhaps naivety of a teenage girl. She has perhaps, a desire to want to be treated like a princess, but life has almost certainly shown her by now that she’ll have to fight for that! Mischa in this painting has a slightly Celtic feel to her colouring, so I swapped her jumper for a simple dress and embellished it a little with a Celtic knot motif, but I also wanted to give the background an urban feel as it hopefully reflects the reality of her environment. Hopefully I’ve achieved a balance of the two.
The hand is symbolic in Native American culture of success in hand-to-hand combat, or of preparation for war (I also liked the amusing connection to the slang term “war paint”, for a woman’s makeup). This princess, even at the tender age of fourteen, has almost certainly had her share of conflict by now and if she wants to be treated with respect, not only will there be a responsibility upon her to act in a way that deserves respect and to respect herself, but she’ll also need to issue a decree of intent of war upon anyone who wants to treat her disrespectfully!
In the New Testament, Paul writes to the church in Rome, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.” (Romans 12:2. J B Phillips translation) and I couldn’t think of a better bit of advice to give to any teenager, girl or boy. Each one of us has a unique character, purpose and destiny, but the pressure upon us to conform to someone else’s idea of what that is can be tremendous!
It’s obviously a subject that’s occupied many greater minds than mine, as the following selection of quotes illustrate:
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” ~ Raymond Hull
“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” ~ William Shakespeare
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another.” ~ J M Barrie
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” ~ Judy Garland
“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” ~ François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~ E.E. Cummings
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” ~ Harvey Fierstein
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss
“What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.” ~ Carl Rogers
And my own personal favourite….
You were born an original. Don’t die a copy. ~ John Mason*
Mischa was a great sport in whiting her face with face paint and then allowing me to paint around her little sister’s (Phoebe) hand in order get a photo of her with a red hand on her face.
Here she is finished… probably: