members Gallery

Losing Myself

Vanessa Hicks

September 1 - September 28, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9 – 7-10 pm

There is no greater purpose in life than to discover our true selves. Our jobs, money and belongings do not determine who we are. The interpretations of our human forms have a unique ability to convey aspects of ourselves from the exterior and alternatively, the interior. 

My self-portrait series began as a way to improve technique, and I was the most readily available subject. Then something happened. As I painted myself more and more, the emotions hiding behind my growing urgency to paint transcended. I did not understand that my paintings were representations of myself on a deeper level until it was pointed out to me.

Others saw them as blatantly obvious representations of pain as I dealt with milestones that we all too often accept as being “easy” or “normal”. Going through school, graduating, getting a job, hating a job, losing a job, losing friends, and losing it all. Even losing myself.

The use of bright colours hides the truth. Ignore them and you see misery instead of contentment. In some of the pieces, you may see intensity behind the eyes, but the mouth is covered as if being oppressed. In one portrait the subject is actually dressed in a hospital gown, representative of my many hospital visits due to various traumas.

Watercolour is an unpredictable medium. Whatever emotions I am feeling will throw themselves onto paper whether I like it or not. If I am feeling depressed, I am less focused and the water is swashed on without care. When I am calm and focused there is greater precision and detail.

These paintings show myself through a painful journey spanning approximately one year. I had everything I thought I ever wanted and slowly lost it all. But through this time I learned more about myself than I thought I ever would. Sometimes the hardest obstacles we face in life come from within.