The creation of my Collage Characters always pulls up thoughts and memories. Some good, some hard. Mixed with the fact that my 50th birthday is right around the corner, it's not surprising that I have been reflecting on life and what it's all about.
Turing 50, as shocking as it feels, is actually a lovely place to be. Safe and secure in my own skin. I have experienced enough and been through enough shit to allow me a quiet moment to look back at my life, my choices and to be honest about what could have been better and what I am really proud of. I found some old journals from when I was 19, away from home for the first time, going to school thousands of miles away. There was such turmoil, a need to find something - a purpose, meaning, accomplishment, or maybe just a stronger sense of who I actually was. There was this longing for the future and of what was to come. Now, nearing middle age, my focus has shifted to the present moment. The fragility of life is so much more central in my mind. The idea that my time here is limited and how and with whom I choose to spend that time is critical.
I wish I could describe how it feels when these characters of mine come to life. I never plan the composition, so when the paint goes on and the eyes start to stare back at me, it is always a surprise. Each character has something to say and I try to "decorate" them in such a way to not deter from their message. A message that can be interpreted differently from person to person. I hope the ideas are universal ones. My thoughts and feelings are not particularly unique but these odd faces are and so I think we can all relate.