Monday, January 09, 2006

What Does Your Face Say?

Portrait by Lori Levin
Plastic surgery seems to be the way to go these days right? We all want to look younger and more attractive. Removing every line, wrinkle and blemish is considered beautiful, at least in the media. I must admit, I too am guilty of looking in the mirror and balking at the fine lines, that aren't so fine anymore, gracing my rather young face. However, today I painted a picture of a man that challenges my thinking.

This painting in progress is a tribute to a "medicine man" on a little island in the Bahamas. The photo was offered as a subject for painting to the community of artists I am a member of on the internet. I was so drawn to this man's image, I just had to paint him. He reminded me of people I have met in my life that have "wisdom" written all over their face. Every crease and crevice screams, "I have lived!" To remove any of these character defining lines would kill the very image that I saw as beautiful.

So this makes me wonder, what does my face say? Has age made me look wiser or just older? Do I look as though I have a story to tell worth listening to? As the years go by will I look tired or like I've lived a life of exciting experiences? Is it just your DNA that decides how you will look or is it the roads you have walked that create the image of knowledge?

I will finish this painting, photograph it in daylight and post it at another time so you can really see what it looks like. Until I do I challenge you to take a moment and look in the mirror and wonder...what does your face say? Let me know.


Diahn said...

I love it even more, here - with what you've written about it. His face speaks to me, as well! My face??? "She never makes it to bed before 1 am" "She laughs ALOT and thinks too much!"

Anonymous said...

Your painting is even more beautiful because you have been able to capture the spirit of a man dear to my heart. And oh yes, there is such beauty in his face. One of my best dearest friends is 65-ish, grey haired and has a face etched with lines. She has had some horrendous things happen to her in her life but she laughs out loud everyday and her positive soothing spirit and joy for life is what shines through. Everytime I look at her face, I think.. I want to be as beautiful as her at that age... and beyond.

I have had a hard year and I am turning fifty this year. I am seeing the toll of my previously, hmmm... not so healthy lifestyle and trauma now appear as lines on my face. I sometimes feel that I look old and haggered. Today, someone asked my husband if the beautiful artist woman who lives at the station was his wife. They said she looked so vibrant. I almost cried when he told me that. Something in me shined through for them.

I don't think we see ourselves, good and bad, as others see us. I've never seen a person who has had plastic surgery and thought they looked more beautiful. I just never thought a stranger would have ever looked at me and seen beauty in the life lessons written on my face. It was an eye opener.

Thanks again for your beautiful rendention of Mr. Forbes.

lisilk ( wetcanvas)