Becoming V-1I recently painted this portrait of my daughter.

As a 20 year old, my daughter is figuring things out. She is a natural artist; infinitely talented and incredibly perceptive.

The world is a difficult place for sensitive, creative people.

I’ve watched as my daughter has struggled, painfully at times, to find her place in that world. To decide what she desires for her life, and then make the leap into action. It’s a tough process. More challenging for some than for others.

I wanted to honor that process with a painting, one of the first I’ve done realistically.

But my goal was not just to capture my daughter’s likeness.

I wanted to capture that sense of becoming…of being on the verge.

Vulnerability walking hand-in-hand with possibility as you feel your
way forward through the uncertainty, creating your own path toward becoming who you truly are.

The soul discovering itself.

Later, when I looked at my finished painting, I was surprised to find that I saw not just my daughter, but myself.

It wasn’t that I saw myself in my daughter’s face, although there’s obviously a family resemblance. Nor was it that I see my daughter as an extension of myself – it’s actually quite the opposite. She is very much her own person; I both value and respect that fact.

No. What hit me like a sledgehammer was the realization that I had been going through the very same process of “figuring things out” at virtually the same time.

I know what it is to be in that limbo, to wake up having no idea where your life is headed or what you want to do next. To search the distant corners of your soul, aching to find your deepest and truest desires…to find your purpose. And then dredging up the courage and motivation to achieve it.

After years of suspended animation spent buried beneath a glacier of inertia, I finally admitted to myself that what I really wanted to do was to paint and write.

I made the leap a year and 9 months ago, and my life began to reconfigure in new and astonishing ways.

My daughter has made her own leap, moving across the country to begin her own future on her own terms.

Both of us proof that it is possible to create or recreate yourself and your life at any point in time.

That the “you” you are meant to be is always there, waiting for you to find it and bring it into being. Whether you’re 20, or 50, or 100.

And that is a beautiful thing.

One Comment

  1. Beautifully stated. We each create and recreate ourselves, evolving through life, and it’s a wonderful thing. Hokusai, the great Japanese artist, said his art would truly mature when he was 110 –

    Speaking of his artistic development when he was 75, Hokusai said, “Since the age of 6 I had the habit of drawing forms of objects. Although from about 50 I have often published my pictorial works, before the seventieth year none is of much value. At the age of 73 I was able to fathom slightly the structure of birds, animals, insects, and fish, the growth of grass and trees. Thus perhaps at 80 my art may improve greatly; at 90 it may reach real depth, and at a 100 it may become divinely inspired. At 110 every dot and every stroke may be as if living. I hope all good men of great age will feel that what I have said is not absurd.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.