An online friend asked me a question the other day. She had noted that in one of my self-portraits my eyes are slightly different. Since we’d never met in person, she was wondering if that was really the case, whether it was artistic license, or what.
In reality my eyes are pretty much the same. But it’s true I always deliberately make them slightly different in my self-portraits. I do this as a tribute to my older sister who died when I was in my 20s. She had amazing eyes. Color-wise they were an artist’s dream (or nightmare) – that unnameable shifting gray-green hue that no amount of paint mixing can capture. But even more intriguing to me was the fact that there was a slight, but noticeable difference in their shape. I found it fascinating.
As I got older I began to take to heart the metaphor message of looking at things with different eyes. And I always counted on my sister to see things differently – to be able to offer me the slightly variant perspective. Was it the wisdom of an elder sister? Perhaps. But there’s no disputing she was seeing with different eyes.
Now when I do self-portraits I always alter one of my eyes as a tribute to her. A reminder of of my connection to her, and a little inside joke that I’m keeping my eye on her and know she’s watching me too.
One of the projects I decided I wanted to do this year was begin a journal of self-portraits, with a commitment of doing at least one a month. Hopefully more. I like the idea of stepping back and seeing yourself periodically with different eyes, and a series of self-portraits is the perfect venue for that.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a zine and now I’m psyched to do one on Eyes. It’s a topic I’ve wanted to do for ages, and so now I’m moving it up a few notches on my to-do list. So here’s the deal – leave me a comment (or email me) with a way to contact you and I’ll put your name in the proverbial hat for a chance to get a copy of my yet-to-be-written Eye Zine. I’m not promising a publish date, other than something this Spring, but I’ll try to make it worth the wait.