on self portraits and being brave

A Quiet Place, art by Regina Lord
A Quiet Place
10″ x 10″ Mixed-media on wood panel

People often ask me if I paint myself.  The first time I was asked this, the first several times actually, I was stunned that anyone would suggest such an absurdity. Me? No! It’s not me.  “Can’t you tell?!?!”, I would think to myself. I felt naked and exposed with the thought of painting myself on a big canvas. Yikes! No, no way, never!

Listen, art by Regina Lord
28″ x 22″ Acrylic on canvas

I remember asking Misty Mawn this once. She did the same thing I did. Her face looked alarmed and confused as she shook her head no. Others chimed in that they thought that she did too. “No”, she said. She didn’t see herself in her painting the way we did. But her paintings were her, they are her still and mine are me too.

All artists paint themselves, of course.  It’s inevitable. We are often working alone with our thoughts, surrounded by our things, being still with our feelings and ideas, listening to our own thoughts hour upon hour. Add in the fact that our kids and family often look like us too, walking mirrors of ourselves. Mix this up with close friends and encounters with acquaintances and strangers and you get a interesting concoction of the artist themself and their view of the world.  Exposed, whether we like it or not. Our story in paint on canvas.

Monrch, art by Regina Lord
11″ x 14″ Acrylic on canvas

People don’t ask this about all of my paintings, but many of them. I don’t internally freak out at the idea any more. Well admittedly, it’s still a little uncomfortable. But now I know there is a bit of me in all of my painting.  There has to be. But, they still want to know who? Who is it that I am painting anyway?

It’s me. My story. My need for quiet and alone time. My desire to spread my wings and be fearless and brave.  My face shape, my eye shape, my lips, my heart and my soul. And the women I know and don’t know.  Women who are strong and determined, brave and careful, contemplative and quiet, generous and kind, broken and healed. Women who are the same as me.

Fearless, art by Regina Lord
18″ x 18″ Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Thank you everyone, for all of the support and encouraging words so far on the work I have done for my show. I am humbled by your kindness and I thank you a million times over.

I have more 4×4 paintings and diptychs to share, but they haven’t been photographed yet.  So another day for those.

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4 Responses to on self portraits and being brave

  1. Carmen says:

    Hi Regina,
    I get asked this a lot too as well. And I guess to a certain extent they’re right.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beautiful artwork.
    Take care,

  2. Rebecca K. says:

    I don’t get asked as much- but I constantly try to capture my likeness. Many women I draw have similar hairstyles. I’m excited to see your new stuff and gallery show!

  3. Kathy F says:

    Hi Megan, as a person who hates to see myself in a photo, I am really intrigued with your work. I never knew you were such an artist! I know you were a great reporter and editor though. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi Regina! I’m Colleen from “way back when we first started blogging”! It’s been so inspirational to read your journey to becoming the artist you are today. I love these portraits and am so excited for your new display! Keep on doing your thing! xo

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