Though its been years, I love the art of self portraiture. I've always seen as a confrontation with the self. In art school, I first began the art merely as a way to improve my technical skill in drawing. Having been introduced to the tradition of figure drawing, where concepts are taught then practiced from a live model under a light source I would go home and make my own set up for the classroom was limited in the hours we would get for each drawing. The most allowed was 6-8 hours, I wanted a minimum of 20. So I would draw myself from a mirror. The process would fluctuate between thinking about drawing ideas, to experiencing distress/eustress in how I see myself. I would see a scar on my face, a blemish, would question my mortality from seeing wrinkles forming in the corners of my eyes. Uncomfortable at first, it would evolve into a practice where I began to find answers from looking in the mirror. My self examination had begin. So though this piece is done from imagination, not from a mirror, it mirrors the inside of how I see myself. How I feel, how I think. More and more, thats simply how I see art functioning in my practice. Simply stated, it is that ultimate expression of my vulnerability, complete. It is me, wholly, not good not evil. My being made visual. The text in the piece is as follows-- "im finished… done with the self deception, done with looking for contentment outside of myself. I've made up my mind. I'm ready to experience all life has in every passing moment, to leave the pain the suffering from the past behind. Im ready to break the patterns that bring new suffering in my life. Im ready to yield, to live a whole life. That is celebrate the birth of experience as deeply as the death of each one as well. Im ready to forgive those that take my invitation of vulnerability as an opportunity to project there samsara on me. I know now not to take it personally, for it is in ignorance that they do so. I only hope they discover the knowledge at some point to break the patterns that they are trapped in. For I empathize, for I was once there. I love you, though you only harm those around you for you truly do not know. Im ready to have compassion for myself, to go deep within the heart and embrace my truest nature for all that it truly is. To celebrate this is to celebrate life. And I'm ready to express the vulnerability of all of this and offer this as my gift to the world. Perhaps to inspire passersby so that they too can transcend their own self deception and find the hidden happiness, the contentment which we all desire underneath it all. And I can only imagine how the world we all live in and share would be different on the outside with its colors, shapes, and energy if this was the conventional way of existence. Rather than living and supporting a dark age of materialism and all the destruction it brings in the smaller and bigger picture of 'us', living and working towards an age of enlightenment where the focus is going within and transcending the collective/personal neurotic cultural indoctrination that so many of us have been born into and re-surfacing with our truest nature. And it is here where we will find all and more that we look for, but seldom seem to find externally for our truest nature is in alignment with nature itself. To be in alignment with nature, is to be alignment with all things.. No struggle, no desire. Stillness and being."