Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Virginia Woolf and the full moon

I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out;
and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.
Virginia Woolf

Last night's full moon.
Well, half full moon.

Nothing like a full moon to get me in the mood
for the writings of Virginia Woolf.

This is her portrait from a book called
Women who write.

Isn't she beautiful?

And from the portrait,
i thought i'd do another one of my 
sheet music paintings.

As i painted this,
i was reminded of how important it is
to just carry on sometimes.

I wish Virginia would have done so.

Everything seemed off about this painting.
I couldn't get the form of her face right,
the proportions were off,
her chin was huge,
the nose was too high...

sometimes, there are many stages during the process
where we just don't like what we see
and that's ok.

Just carry on.

There were several stages last night
where i wondered whether or not i could save her. 

But then i just kept painting,
and adding darker colors,
and filling in the space,
and slowly "molding" her face
like a sculptor with his clay.

In art as in life
it's important to just carry on

and trust

and breathe

and be kind to ourselves

and especially non judgmental

and see where it takes us.

In the end, i liked her face a lot more...

much softer, i think...

Even in this portrait,
there is such sadness in her eyes,
don't you think?

Virginia Woolf committed suicide
at the age of 59.

These words pierced my heart when i first read them:

Nothing was  more important to Woolf than the wholeness of her perception and the integrity of her art. Her life, marked by illness, fear, and suffering, was not one of oppression. It was the life of a heroic woman who could write to her husband, before leaving him forever:  
"I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been."


  1. What a powerful post- the stages your portrait went through are so representative of life. I love how the music peeks through and your shading adds such depth!!

  2. I so love your portraits. I also love how you captured the melancholy of her face and also made her seem somehow modern. What she said to her husband is beautiful. I would like someone to say that to me. :) Oh, and thank you for the reminder to carry on; I did need that today. xx

  3. You definitely captured the sadness in her eyes

  4. Wow! And you most certainly captured the sadness, the wistfulness in her expression. What a beautiful example of carrying on! She's beautiful, Pauline! A fitting tribute to a fascinating woman. :)

  5. Your sheet art portraits are some of my favorite things that you do! Beautiful, haunting picure!

  6. You REALLY captured her Pauline. Beautiful!

  7. Good thing that you carried on, she's beautiful. Sad, but beautiful.

  8. Lovely portrait, Pauline! As much as I like how you captured her eyes and face (and I do), I'm going to be different and say I really like her hair! The way you've painted the strands to look as if they're capturing the light is really awesome!

  9. Such an inspiring post, Pauline! You truly captured her melancholy expression perfectly! I love your portraits!

  10. Great post... love your ability to capture mood in your work...xx

  11. Really beautifully done. You've really done her justice. Lovely post to read as well.

  12. My god Pauline...the resemblance is amazing!!! I love these sheet music paintings! And your posts...they are always so interesting!!! Love, love, love...everything about this blog!

  13. Oh my goodness, this is so beautiful. I think you have just changed the course of my day... I love this post. Thank you. Kath

  14. ....."In art as in life it's important to just carry on and trust and breathe and be kind to ourselves and especially non judgmental and see where it takes us........"
    Thank you for sharing these wise words. They are like music to my ears. Your portrait of Virginia is wonderful, you have capture her depth beautifully.