A new piece (or, drainting! A drawing and a painting) for exhibiting, hopefully, if KILN still want me to participate in the Illustrators show coming up soon! I usually know I’m on the right track if a new piece scares the crap out of me, and this lady sure scared me on several occasions! Despite studying art at university, lots of fine art skills escape me and I usually feel quite incompetent beside other artists because I am mostly self taught. Her skin colour really worried me for a while, but I just ended up layering the colour a bit, and it came good. Horah!
I’ve been thinking a lot about how we hide ourselves in public, to become normal or to blend in. From my early teens I wore make up religiously because I had terrible acne, and it got to a point where I couldn’t answer the door without having a full face on. These days, while I love my cosmetics, I’m a bit more relaxed about “putting on my mask” but you’ll never catch me in a social situation without being fully made up and dressed ridiculously. Because, you know, people might find out… that I have… flaws!
Externals aside, I’ve also had a lot of practice at covering up my various idiosyncrasies. It’s easy for me to say I have experience with depression, suicide and anxiety but harder for me to go in to details because I am so used to people trivialising my fears. Mostly, I’m scared of phones and of falling over in public when I’m out by myself. And because of those fears I come off as quite aloof (I’m pretty hard to catch on the phone!) and I only ever go out when I’ve got someone with me, so in the case I fall over I’ve got someone to laugh about it with me! I mask a lot of my anxieties with a huge laugh and a big personality but lately I’ve been feeling quite guilty about it. This work is one of my ways of coming out as hiding.
So there, that’s my story about being a masked woman. What masks do you wear?