Well this one really is.
I wanted to do this portrait of my son at this milestone of his life, in this pose. He's heading to college very soon, and taking his very direct gaze with him.
Little did I realize when starting this piece that a lot of internal combustion would occur. That the words that rumbled through my head as I gazed into those eyes would make an appearance in the drawing. For awhile, it was all words creating the portrait. Every prayer I knew, every mantra, every affirmation I could possibly think of. Stream of consciousness thoughts, letters, memories, positivity the name of this game until my mind was quiet again. My heart still.
There is always fear at the edges of parenting, and that keeps us alert. I was noticing all that and allowing whatever emotion to come up and have its way with me because that's what I want my work to do. Shake me up sometimes. And this has. In ways that serve my courage.
Then the marks took over. Often contained and deliberate in detail, then released into imperfection and embedded in the surface deeper still. Some were changed, erased and softened. Other times, the words rubbed in. As if I could physically shove them into his head with every ounce of love I have. With this drawing, I believe that my intentions for him will reach his heart whether he knows what I've written or not. Sealed in. Safe.
The Words Often Stay.
Some are visible, most are not. But they are understood in that Within that counts.
Ok. He can go to college now.