Dose of Awesome # 274

Awesome is finishing another work of art.

I much enjoy the process of creating any work of art. I appreciate the slow start of meticulously sketching the most important details, measuring each line to the very last millimetre. I love the smooth momentum of shading – darkening shadows in layers and erasing the highlights in a similar fashion as gradually, the portrait come alive one detail at a time. I love the struggle of working through a new challenge, as I’m forced to experiment with new techniques so as to best reproduce a detail or a texture I’ve never worked with before in a drawing. But as much as I enjoy all of that, there’s a special feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a piece of art.

There’s a story behind this portrait. It’s a self portrait, drawn from a photo taken in late February on a sunny, but freezing afternoon of snowshoeing with a friend. My scarf was frozen solid and covered in frost, as was some of the fur around the hood of my parka. My face was frozen to the point that I couldn’t tell if I was smiling at the camera or not. My hands froze instantly as I removed my pualuuk to take the photo – the photo that I couldn’t tell would take or not, because the sun was so bright it washed out the screen and, for all I knew, the cold had sucked the life right out of the camera’s battery.

I liked the photo immediately – not only because of how it turned out, but because of what it represents. It could have turned out a million different ways and it still would have told the same story – a story of healing in the midst of a lot of loss, a big life change, and a huge shift in focus. That’s why, after months of artists’ block, I was inspired to make this my next piece of art – a self portrait taken on a day I’d felt the most free and content than I’d felt in a long time.

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