The Seasons Of My Life - A Self Portrait
37 inches X 26 inches
Commercial and Silk Hand dyed Fabric
Machine Pieced, Fused Raw Edged Applique
This is the first self portrait I have done. I found it to be very hard to decide what you consider yourself to be. All sorts of ideas went through my head but then when listening to the Fleetwood Mac song
"Landslide" there was the lyric, "the seasons of my life". I decided that is truely how I feel right now.
I remembered a photo taken last fall of me in the "Kettle Moraine State Forest" hiking.
My thoughts went into this direction. I wanted to portray myself as in the fall of my life now.
(Even at 61 I do not consider myself to be in winter yet! )
What be came the challenge was how to portray myself moving through these stages.
I pieced my background first in black and white strips going in a horizontal direction. Then I cut them vertically and staggered them and resewed them together. I sandwiched the piece and quilted the entire background.
I sketched out the figure of me walking taking liberties with the clothing and hair.
I thought about how at some stage in our lives we stop seeing our bodies as aging and sometimes
(when in a dressing room especially) we wonder "whose body is that?" So I portrayed myself as I think
I am. However I added some telltale signs. The strands of grey hair coming through regardless of "Nice and Easy". (I used metallic silver thread and purposed lowered my tension so it would look wirey and unruly like it is.) The scarf wrapped around my neck to hide the double chin and the beginnings of turkey skin. The glasses in my pocket that now have to go everywhere with me just in case I need to read or see a small object.
Then came the hard part. How to portray myself in the past season and birth. I attempted several things, using light weight fabric for the figures, using diluted acryllics and painting them on etc.
They were all to visible and I wanted these figures to be there only sometimes.
So I chose tulle in white, green and red.
I wanted to look like I have moved through my life conquering the good things and the bad and that I am happy to see what comes ahead, still learning and looking for new experiences.
I also used the leaves to portray what I hope to be colorful, happy, productive and successful things I have done in my past that I will be remembered for.
The final addition were the trees which are the barriers along the way that come our way.
I quilted all the surface details and then bound the quilt with a fused binding using the two fabrics, one dark and one colorful.
And I put a smile on my face!