I wrote about stars being the theme of the trip the other day. I've followed that up with a celebratory self portrait of myself in this space with the view of the sky I've so been enjoying. It's a little bit of magical thinking, since I can't actually see this many stars with the light pollution in Paris (and I think I could stand to thin a few out artistically anyway), but the Persieds are happening right now, and I do feel surrounded by stars this trip.
I'm actually doing a series of self portraits this trip. I do them in occasional spurts, not as a steady part of my work. They usually pop up when I'm feeling especially self reflective. I set a goal for myself to think some things through this trip, and I'm not actually getting very far with that (too much painting and socializing both), but perhaps there is some self examination going on at a deeper level since the self portraits keep popping out, although many of them are in teapots.
First here is the original star self portrait, done a little bit after Vincent and the portrait he did with stars in the background. This one made me want to do the more full view one tonight.
Now the teapots.
Above is this year's teapot self portrait at the cafe at Marche Aligre. Last year's was less fully formed, but still visible with me in a red halter top. It's one of my favorite sketches from last year because of the happy memories woven in.
I'm not sure the teapot ones really count as that self reflective, since I also adore painting tea things, but the volume is a little telling. We'll see. Sometimes I also use them to mark a really good day or place, as I did with last year's. I may just be on a spurt right now. But sometimes my art brain is picking up on things faster than my conscious one does, as happened with that dancing series I did last year. Art is always hardwired into the deepest parts of who I am.
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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