Acrylic on canvas
28″ x 24″
“Hot flashes are sudden explosions or mild waves of body heat that last from 30 seconds to five minutes. They are caused by sudden rushes of hormonal changes. Hot flashes often start with a tingling sensation…followed by fast rises in skin temperature and rapid heart palpitations.” — Planned Parenthood
As I begin to examine myself in the mirror and paint the turmoil I am feeling, I recognize this unpredictable change in body rhythms is “menopause.” Using my own body as a creative source, I turn to the self-portrait as a vehicle of exploration and sensing. Painting in acrylics, my palette becomes fiery and expressionistic in ways that echo the stirrings in my body as they come from inside-out.
While I use my own body as a sensor, my way into the painting is through color. It is the layered progression of colors from flesh pinks to flame reds that leads me through the intensity of the hot flash, and captures the heat’s procession as it rises upwards from the body into the face.
I want to accept my changing body, my new wrinkles and strands of gray hair — make friends with them– because they are only going to get more pronounced as I age. I will look again and again at myself with curiosity and humor; it’s my way to fully embrace the inevitable and natural changes in my face and body.