Monday, July 28, 2008

Warning: Landscape Intermission

She Learned Obedience Suffering. Here is the first portrait I am thinking of submitting to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's portrait competition. Yes, I know. It is a radical break from the entire flow of previous posts. However, I really want to submit something, only one per artist is allowed, and I can't make up my mind. I do have a super real painting I could offer, but psychological themes are more my thing. This is a self portrait, a self narrative, that refers to the way I felt after a traumatic brain injury years ago. Life became so simple for a long while, like a dog's life. I read a scripture once that said, must paraphrase here, Jesus learned obedience through suffering. This was a puzzlement. Why would he have to learn obedience? Was it his humanity that needed the lesson? What about the rest of us? Having a tragedy, or even many for that matter, is a brutal way to learn discipline, humility...any number of things. I don't have the answer. I do know that we sometimes receive comfort, sometimes clues and there often seems to be an angel or two to guide us forward. National Portrait Gallery


Anonymous said...

You're a clever and seemingly fearless girl.

On suffering; it has a sobering effect. It will knock the silliness right out of you. Helps you get focused on what's important in life. Creates character and compassion.
Gee, it sounds like I'm selling it. Would you like a bottle of Suffering? It's on special today for $12.99! It tastes a little bitter but it's nourishment for your spirit!

What kind of paintings have you seen submitted to this Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in the past? It sounds so formal. Are they broad minded enough to appreciate this type of portrait?

Melinda said...

My belly is full of suffering, thank you...=:) However, digestion has given me confidence and fed the marrow of my bones. If your bottle is sweeter, please save me a glass for another time.
I have subscribed to for awhile now and just noticed the portrait competition. After I did a little poking around on the site, I found that portraits can indeed be strange like mine. So, what the heck. The fee is only $35. I've never submitted one to them before.

Anonymous said...

Cool, do it! I have a new portrait... Is it too late for me to enter?

Edgar said...

You've made it tough to choose a preference, Melinda. Each of the three has strong qualities and merit.

This painting, though, has an energy and immediacy that really engages me. The paint was put on fast and not reworked, and the figure is rough and distorted. It feels like the painter was bent and encumbered, but desperate to express her existence: unity of message with medium. The collage feels more rule-breaking, too (an irony, given the obedience theme?)

All in all, this is the painting that makes me stop, say "wow" and look some more. It's edgier and more thought-provoking.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

I like all three portraits, Melinda, and I especially love the ambiguous 'Little King of Everything' with the plaster over your mouth!

Now I may not be an angel but this Self Portrait with the animalistic features and the broken personage with the distant look, as though you are on a distant planet, seems to touch a deeper truth about the fragility of the human condition and gets my vote. Don't ask me, however, to second guess Voting Panels 'cause I haven't got a clue!

Melinda said...

Thank you so much for your feedback. I, too, love the floating Little King of Everything. This is my inner child. I also agree with you that the broken woman, trying to smile, with the faraway look, may resonate with us grown ups who've had more than enough suffering.
It is so very true that we can never really predict what will be chosen in these competitions. It's fun to try though, yes?!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

If you're not in it, you can't win it.
You go for it and give yourself a chance!
Question: what if you're "inner child" is also your "outer child"?

I've reached an age when I no longer differentiate. Ha!