Day 6: Self Portrait

Hello Friends,

I have been working so hard the past few days that I needed a break, so I decided to work on what I thought was going to be a fun and silly challenge.  Every month Petra’s Art has a challenge in her international group and this month was to create a self portrait using the “Paint Over” Technique.  This is where you take an image and literally paint over it.

This turned out to be the most personal and emotional piece I have ever made.  I was so surprised at the emotions that came welling up inside me as I created her.  I wanted to stay with those feelings, and figure them out so I apologize for the limited amount of photos today.

I started by taking Mod-Podge and gluing the photo to my art journal. When that I was completely dry I added clear gesso to the page.   Then I took my acrylic paints and loosely painted the values.

The next step was to add my pastels.  I was not liking how it looked so I kept going back and forth between the acrylics and pastels until I was happy.

It was at this point that the Big Feelings started to come up. The next step was adding details to my mouth, hair and eyes.  I also worked on her shirt and background. IMG_5240

Here “I am” completed…I do want to share with  you some of things that I learned…Just like this “completed” self portrait it is not perfect, neither am I and that is okay!  There are areas that I would do differently, but it is where I am at today on this journey.  I think I need to learn how to be kind to my self.  As I was creating her the negative self talk started.  “She looks so Ugly” “I am never going to be able to fix this”  Then it occurred to me that I was literally talking about my self…Whoa! Yes, it was just a painting but it was deeper then that.  I am always so encouraging to everyone one I love about their art work, I speak kindly to them, I tell them it will be okay.  I realized that I would never speak to some one the way I was speaking to my self. 

If that was not enough… I was realized that as I was discovering my self in the painting I am also on a journey to discover who I am.  For years, I was the wife, the woman battling infertility, then “just a mom” I was the one who over came a traumatic childhood….but none of these things ever felt like it was really who I was.  These where labels I placed on my self or that others placed on me.   So this year as I learn to be courageous, part of that is going to be discovering who I am apart from all those things.

Just as the “me” in the painting went through some ugly stages so have I  and I am ready to move to the next stage…I am becoming courageous!  Leanneselfie

Please tell me what you think in the comments below, but please be kind! 


8 thoughts on “Day 6: Self Portrait

  1. Miss Petra's Art says:

    hi sweetie
    I so love your post and i so recognize your feelings.
    I struggle with the same feelings and i am still in this journey.
    I think you are truly a kind and beautyfull woman.. who seserve so much more then just being a mom or a wife! Go for it this year Leanne because you are worth it!
    ❤ you my great new friend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenn Sher says:

    So amazing to see your growth Leanne I really enjoyed reading your joy and struggle doing this piece. You are more courageous than I am. I am still thinking about doing the challenge…thank you for sharing!!


  3. Suzy says:

    This is a lovely self portrait. You should be proud. That kind of self examination can be very painful, and you were strong enough to take it head on. Sometimes absorbing yourself in your passion, in your art can be healing.


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