21 August 2006

Oil Painting #2: On Turning 33

Here's a painting I did on my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Although I look a bit pensive in the self-portrait, it was a remarkably trauma-free birthday (unlike 2 years ago: the Lonely Summer; or last year: the River Episode). I went to the open studio and painted, I had lunch with my friend Stacey, and then Nate took me out to a very nice dinner at Lauro and then downtown to watch part of the Twilight Criterium.

Each year my birthday always signaled two things: 1) Conference--the gathering of Conservative Mennonites in the Midwest and 2) the beginning of the school year. While many people find the New Year to be a time of reflection in their lives, I find August to be the punctuation mark in my year. It's one of those rare pauses when I have time to think and find out what I know about myself. I know a few things: I am incredibly blessed and fortunate, I have a good job, good friends, and a supportive husband. I am most alive when I am creating. But I still don't know What I Want to be When I Grow Up and I feel like there is more to this life than I am currently experiencing. I have itchy feet (not literally) and I'm longing for a bit more adventure and passion in my life. Perhaps I'll find these in the year ahead.

P.S. I don't consider this to be a very good likeness. I had planned to let it dry and then rework some of the highlights and the eyes. But now it's dry and I am not feeling inclined to go back into it....So it will just be what it is: my 2nd attempt at oil painting.


njc said...

I really love that painting. It captures you in a such a deep way and it draws people in. If I didn't know you and I saw that, I think I'd say, "I'd like to know this person."

I very much agree about birthdays and about life in general. I swear that just this morning I was trying to figure out the what to be when i grow up question and all i could think of was "someone with a very interesting and diverse and creative life." That may be the antithesis of my current life. And I can't figure out if I want a Career (with a capital C) because that's truly what I want to dedicate my life to or because I feel like I should want one but what I really want is a part time job that pays the bills while I do pottery and yoga and cook.

I wish you were closer; I'd love to chat more with you on this.

Ryan L Freed said...

Hey! I just found my own flirty skirt at the thrift store for 5 bucks and it still has the tags. I wish I'd had it to wear all summer.
- Kris