Instead of sharing all the highs and lows of the past year (as I did for the last birthday), I thought I might share a few little known facts about myself.
1. The first watercolour I ever painted was of the Dufresne grain elevator in Manitoba. It was a mess of wet into wet washes, but I loved it. It ignited my passion with watercolour. This was in my teens; I don't count elementary school tempera paints applied to printer paper with frayed brushes as starting with watercolour.
2. I play the piano (almost) every day. This doesn't mean I'm very good at it, as I don't play for perfection. No, I play for expression. At the moment my favourite composers are Debussy and Mendelssohn, but I'm gaining affection for Bach. A Bach fugue is complicated, with lots of themes intersecting, rather like life. Sometimes, when I'm upset, I'll wait until everyone is out of the house and then play really loudly.
3. My bangs are often too long. I trim them myself, and it is such a chore that I try to wait for the last possible moment. I almost did it before painting this self-portrait. But then I thought, "I should do the portrait as I am, today, no pretending." So there you go, long bangs.
4. I used to have a birthday tradition of reading "The Little Prince." The story is full of wisdom about life and love. Eventually it got to the point where I'd read it so many times that I had the book memorized. So, now I've started the tradition of portraits. This is inspired by Rembrandt, who painted 90 self-portraits of himself over his life. They are like an autobiography in art, recording his changing moods and appearance as he aged. Maybe I can do the same, in a very small way.
5. A friend once told me that the constellation of freckles on my cheek looked like the big dipper. Sometimes when I look at them now I think they look like the southern cross. I'm not sure. Any other guesses?
6. I'm ever so grateful to all of you readers and your lovely comments. I haven't blogged much in the past year, and the other day I checked my stats and realized that there are a lot of you out there! Thanks for reading, and thanks for being such an inspiration.
So there you are, a series of random facts. I'm sure, if you keep following this blog, there'll be many more to come! (and please share some random facts about yourself in the comments, I'm very curious...)