Words and Paintings by Amelia Anthony
I never really painted until around May when I did a portrait of my friend Addy for school. I ended up making another portrait of my friend Harper and one of myself in the same week because I enjoyed it so much. It was easier for me to paint myself, probably because I know my own face well and also because it was so soothing. I didn’t have real deadlines or expectations to my newfound self-portraiture; for the first time in a while creating visual art was relaxing! Previously I had only been a writer—only written about myself instead of painting pictures of myself. Currently, painting is a ritual. I blend the same skin tones and trace the same features soft-listening to music and bask in brushstrokes.
Self-love is a very strange thing in media right now; it is trendy to appreciate your image and share that appreciation with other people. However, self-love is something I am unsure anyone has mastered. Self-portraiture has definitely helped me work through self-love; not just by appreciating, studying, and learning my face, but also by allowing myself time to complete a project that I thoroughly enjoyed creating. Anyone who struggles with self-love should begin projects similar to self-portraiture! That could include writing about yourself, making lists about things you like about yourself, or a list of people you appreciate, mediating, exercising, sleeping in, reading books, keeping a journal, etc, etc, etc