This is the final post of a five part blog series on the women artists who have inspired the My Muses Collection.
I originally painted the self portrait in this collection as an extra piece, only to use for my marketing materials because I wanted to keep the other portraits a secret until the big reveal. My intension at the onset was to paint five portraits of women artists who have inspired me. Myself not included.
With the Judy Chicago, Remedios Varo, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Lee Bontecou portraits finished, and my self portrait finished, the collection felt complete. But in my mind, I couldn't justify adding my portrait to the collection. I told myself - I can't have my self portrait as part of the collection! How can I be my own muse? That's stupid! I was feeling a lot of resistance. That resistance was another piece to unravel that arose through making this collection. If I had known at the onset just how much painting these paintings would bring up for me, I'm pretty sure I would have abandoned the project.
Already fully in to the project, I took the resistance on as an exercise in self-healing and started doing the work to untangle it. I was journaling every day and doing a lot of reading about trauma, self sabatoge, and healing old stuff in one's life. Then I had a light bulb moment from the most unlikely source - in my Insta social feed, Snoop Dogg's acceptance speech after receiving his Hollywood star popped up on my screen. If you haven't seen it by now, let me share it with you:
I heard him speak about this speech and what he said was really profound. After he had thanked the people who were instrumental in his life, he wanted to speak to himself, to give himself some credit for doing the work he did to get to that point. He spoke about how he is always thanking everyone else and that he had never before thanked himself for all of his hard work. That really hit a nerve and rings as spot on true! As someone who has had a long standing gratitude practice, I understood that all he did was express some self-gratitude and affirm all his hard work. What a revelation!!
I realized that my resistance to putting my self portrait in this collection had to do with not really believing that I was worthy of being included among these artists. That I had a subconscious believe that I was unqualified, incompetent, and not talented enough to stand among these giants. An old tape was playing in the background of my mind saying, "who do you think you are?" And it brought up a fear that if I did add my self portrait that people would think I was arrogant and self aggrandizing.
Thanks to Snoop Dogg (maybe his portrait will be next) and my inner work, I came to realize that none of that matters and that old tape, it was time to chuck it. The truth is, I never gave up on myself or my dream. At every obstacle, at every setback, at every smack down from the Universe, I lifted myself up, held my dreams tight, and kept going. I never gave up on myself and I've worked my butt off to get to here. And I'd like to thank me.
So, I have decided I deserved a place amongst these incredible artists in this collection and I have added my self portrait as one of the five. Not because I think my art is as great as theirs, history will decide that one, but because - if a muse is, "a person who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist", then by adding my self portrait, I am acknowledging that I am, and have always been, my greatest source of inspiration.
And also, that I'm a bad MF! 😉
View the My Muses Collection here.