Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The body canvas

When I feel overwhelmed or frightened or otherwise vulnerable I tend to go underground. Probably not the best defense mechanism. The past couple of weeks I have been laying low. I've been trying to decide how to write about what I'm going through. Or how much to write. Walking that tightrope between the need for expression and connection and the very real need for protection. As usual, I'll probably err on the side of expression. It's what I do.

Thanks to those who have checked in. I love you Jenn. You're the best. And Melissa, gorgeous you. xx

Today I wanted to share some incredible art with you that I can't get out of my mind. A few weeks back Kirsty from 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle shared a link on Facebook to a site with some exquisite examples of body painting. Look at this.

As you may have gathered, I am a wee bit obsessed with painting my body. Why? I have no idea why. I'm not driving this train. I'm just along for the ride.

I like the idea of people painting their bodies in ways that express who they are, on a soul level. Their outsides reflecting their insides. We walk around every day and people look at us and we look at them and we never really see each other. How stunning would it be to look at a person and know something deeply meaningful about them?

If I could paint my body (or have it painted) any way at all, it would be in landscapes. Desert landscapes in brilliant reds or soaring mountains or endless miles of windswept plains. I would have someone paint Kata Tjuta across my torso and lie down on the red earth in the middle of my soul home.

Most of the bodies in the paintings above are classically beautiful canvasses. Slender, young, nicely proportioned. I like real bodies. Bodies with smile lines and squishy bits. Bodies in which real people live who like to keep it real.

If you could paint your inside on your outside, what would it look like?


  1. http://topnews.net.nz/images/Chronic-Pain.jpg I feel like this is all that there is left of me.

    I've been worried about you. You've been quietish. I hope you're doing ok, the kids are ok.

    Has there been anythign further after the hearing?

  2. @ Melissa - that picture makes me sad. :(

    You are so much more than that. I would paint you in hearts and fire, for your tender compassion and burning drive for fairness/social justice.

    I will EM you about the rest. You probably know most of it. xx

  3. sometimes I think a twister or storm clouds. With my body shape storm clouds would probably look good with the many surgical scars great places for the lightning♥

  4. Today I think I'd just be all grey. Want to escape with me? I have a boat bed.

  5. Those pictures are gorgeous. I wonder if you could find someone in your neck of the woods that could paint a beautiful Austrialian outback on your body . . .

    As you already know, I have been a bit worried about you as well.

  6. @ Caring Cleaner - that would interesting to do something symbolic with scars. I like the idea of a thunderstorm. How cool!

    @ Toni - yes, I do. xx

    @ Jenn - That would be awesome. I should do a bit of research. And thanks again for your concern. You're so lovely. xx

  7. Glad you are still here!

    I'm not really into body art in any way but I'm really impressed by that second one from the bottom with the birds, flowers and butterflies.

    Those artists are so very talented.

  8. After having my babies, I think my body would make a good road map. No need to paint lines, just a few dots to mark places of interest!
    Have missed reading you lately, so glad you posted today :)

  9. Hmm it's odd - I've never thought about what I would want to be painted, I've always been to busy practicing my hobby of painting Desert landscapes - my personal best work being of Kata Tjuta.
    I just really seem to be able to capture that perfectly somehow. I really miss painting it though - sadly I ran out of canvas about a month ago and haven't been able to buy any more - ah well, I'll keep looking.

    Any way....

    I'd get them to paint the Diet Coke man on me and then I'd just walk around office blocks delivering drinks.

  10. Trees. For me it would be beautiful trees - rich greens and browns and dappled sunlight.

  11. My art would be trees and little streams with tiny waterfalls, very rainforesty.
    Welcome back, hope you're all okay there.

  12. Thank you for sharing.

    The bodies. Amazing.

  13. I think i'd be a changing landscape to be honest. Some days i would be black like an abyss, others i see a sun rising over lush green hills, sometimes a fire burning fiercely and finally a waterfall flowing steadily in a rainforest. Mostly i would just have distorted pieces of all of them making me look confusing and unreadable. I guess a bit like a Picasso.

  14. @ Glen - Amazing that; shame you're all the way in the UK.

    @ Steve & River - I'm seeing a tree theme emerge here. Or a nature theme I suppose. Like.

    @ Kellie - Like the road map! That would look awesome.

  15. E & Phonakins - they are amazing, aren't they? And I love the floral one too. Incredible.

    @ Pink - I think we would all be changing pictures, to suit our many moods.

  16. "When I feel overwhelmed or frightened or otherwise vulnerable I tend to go underground. Probably not the best defense mechanism"

    Humm I think that would actually be the best defense mechanism you could do, if safety was what you are after.

  17. amazing aren't they? I once saw a picture of all Pink Floyd album covers painted on women's backs. loved it.

  18. @ Hunka - Is that a threat? Do you have a vested interest in me staying quiet? You've never read or commented on my blog before. Odd first comment.

  19. I love that you want to be painted to become part of your favourite place. Where you feel you should be and are at peace.
    My choice would be all shimmery swirls in rainbow colours, some with white outlines, some with sparkling midnight blue, the sort of thing that would only suit dancing and twirling on a storm cloud in a sunset.

  20. I'm fascinated by body painting. It was very big in NZ ... you'd even see it being done in the supermarkets on nearly naked men and women.

  21. Wow i love the one with the bubba foot, the egypt one is kinda cool too :-) I heard Hugh Heffner has painted people at his Mansion Parties sometimes....

  22. I would want warm, gold light starting at my center and spreading out across my body.

  23. You should paint yourself with all the flags from your flag husseying! That would look incredible. And go around the world as an exhibition. And call it Me: The World. Ooh I love it already!

    Incidentally have you seen this guy? Not quite as meaningful but pretty fun!

  24. Mine would be painted in waters and rains. Canvassed snapshots of the bodies of water that nourish my soul, and of the sub-tropical roaring showers that nourish them.

    I miss the rains.


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