The challenge this week from Jenn at Artist's Play Room was, for me, a difficult one. She asked: "What makes you tick, who are you, tell me about you". The difficulty was to create a piece of artwork that related to her question.
Have you heard the lines from Robert Burns' poem, (slightly anglicised here) - 'Oh would some power the giftie gi'e (give) us, To see ourselves as others see us'. Jenn is asking us to let others see us as we see ourselves!
Probably like most of you I would regard myself as a pretty private person on the whole, and I had to find a way to tackle the challenge. After all, if it's not difficult, then it's not much of a challenge!
I struggled with trying to think "well, who am I", and in the end asked my husband to "tell me who I am" - seeing myself as others see me. This was his answer, which I wrote down verbatim (in shorthand):
- You are always dreaming and walking into everything, and go into another world, day-dreaming or reading. When you're painting you are in another world.
- You are an extremely complicated woman, and I love you, although you infuriate me from time to time.
- Life with you is unexpected, even after 55 years, anything can change at any moment.
- You're a laugh a minute, life's never boring, and it's fun.
- The other side of you is that you are extremely artistic, and at the same time practical in every way one can think of - sewing, cooking, tiling, decorating, laying flagstones ........
- Even today you have a 'dumb blonde' approach to life which fools people, and hides the strength as well as the softness of your heart. Like any other woman you have a tiger in you if anyone threatens your family.
- You are utterly determined on anything you do, and are extremely dedicated, loyal and loving.
- You are a very complicated person
My daughter Zoë phoned a few minutes later, and never one to leave well alone I said "Give me five words that describe me". The immediate answer was:
Believer in Justice
I think that's more than five words, but I'll accept them. Quite a surprising list.
Well, Jenn, that's a start for you. Thinking about what my loved ones had said, the idea popped into my mind that I could represent my 'essence' as a maze. How far anyone gets towards knowing me depends on how good they are at unravelling my maze.
Pitt Artist's Pen, Butterfly Stick-ons,
Blue and Pink and Frame added in Photoshop. Jez
Obviously it would need to be a very much more complex maze than the one I drew here, but this is the first maze I've ever tried to draw, and a complex maze would not make a very 'readable' image. Enter from any one of the five 'gateways'.
My private side is represented by the blocked roads, and in places by the completely enclosed and locked 'secret' rooms. How far anyone gets towards, or manages to find, 'The Real Me' depends on how hard they try. Most people don't try, but accept the 'dumb blonde' facade at face value! Good, good!
So all the serious stuff of the maze is surrounded by the butterflies of my 'Butterfly Mind' that flits from one thing to another and settles for a short while, and all the bubbling of ideas that is constantly coming to the boil all around.
Well, this is certainly not the post I expected to write, but I'm happy with the idea for the artwork, and I have to say I'm glad I battled through the difficulty and enjoyed it in the end.
Probably many of you will own similar 'mazes', and you may be brave enough to ask your loved ones to let you see yourself as they see you. Are you brave enough?