Sunday, September 28, 2008

Death Wish, Decision Portrait Series

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(Click on image to enlarge.)
Death Wish. Stitched words: I just wanted to lie down and never wake up...Ignored...Social Outcase...Cut wrist and a bottle of aspirin...Loner...Psych Ward...Beaten...At 16 I thought it would just be best if I wasn't around at all...Attempted Suicide. Unframed: 25 " x 18".

A few months ago Arlee Barr emailed me privately (mouse_house@prodigy.net) volunteering for this portrait. I sent her a standard model's release. She signed and returned it. She scanned a photo taken of her when she was sixteen and emailed it as a high resolution image. We also corresponded about this time during her life. I selected and altered several phrases from her message. Of course I shared these with Arlee first.

It was wonderful to arrive at the MacNamara Foundation's location on Westport Island in Maine with a familiar series on which to start work. After finishing Blood Donor, I got to work on this piece. Tomorrow I plan to start Marked for Life (Tattoo Artist). Once this piece was finished, I sent an image to Arlee. I wanted her to see it before I posted. At this point, I also asked Arlee whether she wanted me to blog about the work with or without her name. The choice was hers.

I'm very pleased with the portrait. I wanted the words to swirl around her head as if visualization of the internal thoughts. The phrase at the top and bottom are therefore couched straight across and in a different shade because it is a current reflection.

I tried to post this piece earlier today....but I couldn't manage it. It seems that Hurricane Kyle interfered with the broadband connection. Otherwise the storm was just lots and lots of rain. I miss high speed! On that note....I thank each and every person who has kindly left me a comment but beg for understanding. I really can't navigate quickly to blogs to return the compliments. The support, however, has been my strength here in Maine! Thank you all!

10 comments:

arlee said...

I am honoured and pleased by this piece--it says a lot that you have handled it delicately but with strength. You are the best!
Sending you good thoughts of safety and creativity!

Nellie's Needles said...

My heart breaks for the pain the young woman that grew into the Arlee I'm acquainted with went through. I admire her strength and perseverance to survive the torturous times in her life. It all adds to the depth and breadth of her amazing creativity.

Carol said...

This piece is awesome. SOOOOO POWERFUL.It is just lovely. I think it may help in putting some of these feelings to bed - or I hope so. I want to echo Nellie's thoughts to Arlee also.

katelnorth said...

This is a lovely piece - very moving and not too sentimental. Hope you are well!

Jackie said...

its hard to see arlee in this light. I see her as positive, inventive, strong and creative. But I am not surprised that her journey was difficult. Lovely work.

Emmy said...

A realy wonderful piece I think Nellie got the best words I agree Arlee is a great artist and your work is so wondertful to

Purple Missus said...

A very moving piece. All the more so because it appertains to someone we all know for her exuberance. Well done Susan, a wonderful interpretation.

Sue said...

I agree that this is a strong and sensitive portrait, superbly executed, of a very brave and honest woman. Such an impressive series.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Very well done Susan! Your sensitivity really shows and I think this is a wonderfully touching.

Wanda said...

I cried. I got it. I know where it all comes from. So do you. I love you.