About Portraiture and Storytelling


I just came across an old notebook and found a link to this book: McAdams, D: The Stories We Live By - Personal Myths and the Making of the Self. A good reminder to read the book! A link: Dan McAdams, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Northwestern University, gives the second "Introduction to Liberal Arts" convocation of the fall semester in a talk titled “The Self as a Story”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySDUoyL3KHg



In the context ABOUT PORTRAITURE and portrait painting and self-portrait, it immediately reminded me of my conversations with Felicity Brown about storytelling and how we all love stories. About the stories, she collected during her Love Journey in LA and how we can observe how customers of hairdressers love to talk about themselves. And about Joseph Campbell's - A Hero with a Thousand Faces -, Alan Moore interviews, and of course, about everything I learn when I practice meditation.


Why would you want to paint a portrait of yourself? Or of anyone else, for that matter?


It is innate in all of us that we want to locate ourselves in the world we live in, that we want to understand the events of our lives and the people we live with. We wonder who we are and what we identify with. As social beings, we want to find recognition in the community, and yet we also want to set ourselves apart as individuals.


I can see myself being drawn to the world of thoughts, trying to find the pattern of life experiences, the dots I can draw a line with. "Can you feel me?"


I listened to Sam Vaknin's outer-space radio station. I found his comments about gut feelings, intuition and narcissism very impressive. The beautiful narcissist is the one who lent his name to those of us who suffer, as Vaknin says, from this extra-human condition we call narcissism, from the reflexes of our own self-construction. He closes his video with an excellent overview of intuition in its philosophical dimension and as a tool for us to find good answers.


When I paint, I want to express myself, as an individual and yet also as someone who participates in the greater totality of paintings ever painted and of those which are going to be painted in the future. I want to understand what was painted before me and was is painted now and how the 'conditions' of painting, like colour and surface, relate to each other. And I want to apply it to specific moments and persons, in general. Do I want to tell stories with it? Something that painting is not really ostensibly about? I think so, because storytelling is innate to us humans, but not always to our benefit.

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