Self-portraits

Last week in group, Dr C suggested we do a self-portrait a day for a month. I can’t exactly remember how we arrived at the concept, but it’s not all that important. Anyway, I didn’t start till yesterday (4 days later). I kept it simple. I did a quick stylized cartoon of myself. I was trying to go for the frazzled,tired, sad feeling I’ve carried all week. I also didn’t want to have to put much effort into it (I was tired and running out of creative stream).

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I left the picture mostly unfinished…

When I showed it to Dr C today, she called it “glamorous”… ?!?!!? I dunno. I don’t see glamorous, but whatever. I told her as much. She then asked if I had done one for today yet.

I shook my head.

She asked if I wanted to do one there.

:shrugz: might as well. I tend to speak easier when slightly distracted.

Then she asked if I had a picture to draw from. I told her I rarely have pictures of myself, let alone ones I like. I suggested that I didn’t mind doing it more representational of what I’m feeling. She shook her head as she launched the camera on her phone. “No. You need to do one from a picture of yourself.”

I laughed and lightly protested. She took the picture anyway… she said it was nice. I looked at it and started listing everything wrong. She cropped the picture and zoomed in on the face. She offered drawing utensil choices, then asked me to start drawing… she grabbed paper and pencil and joined me in drawing.

We chatted, and she gently encouraged me when I started to get frustrated. She gave some tips she learned along the way: 1) draw what’s around the object rather than the object itself. 2) Focus on the shapes, not the finished object. 3) try drawing it upside down.

I was on a roll with my first sketch, so I kept at it. I asked for more explanation on the concept of drawing “around” something to get the goal. She said it had something to do with seeing the shapes that make up whatever it is you are trying to draw. I’m still not clear on that concept… I did try something new with the watercolor pencil sketch though: I didn’t throw down the line with pencil first, but let the drawing appear as the colors were laid down. I think it kinda worked out ok. I look about 80, but that’s kinda how I feel sometimes, so it’s ok.

I was going to do a second one (upside down this time), but session was up.

She asked how that went for me (not talking about what had been creeping on me all weekend. Instead, drawing together in session). I told her I liked it. It was nice, as I had been hoping to find someone to sit and do art with. I also told her that I wished I had talked a bit about what was going on inside. We talked a bit about the value of not always tackling therapy head-on. She cited this session as working on seeing myself as a beautiful person rather than all the negatives I feel. She also mentioned something about still being a person and seeing myself as such (recently I had mentioned more of a disconnect from myself and my life. I think I had phrased it as being surprised again that I had a reflection in the mirror)…

We set another time for tomorrow because the stuff from the previous week is still very present.

I think I could get behind doing more art in session (I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical on the “take away” message of the session having been a deliberate one… though she is pretty good about stuff like that, so maybe she did plan it at the time she asked if I wanted to draw today).

Oh, the final drawing from the session is on the left. My attempt at drawing myself upside down is on the right. It was done in prismacolor marker while waiting for my laundry to dry…
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