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Modern woman artist's self-portrait in the style of Gustav Klimt. The woman in the painting is nude, with her limbs strategically positioned to cover up her breasts and her bottom. She's sitting with her legs crossed on a decoratively painted field of flowers.  There is a row of symbolically represented mountain tops with pale yellow sky in the background.
**click portrait to enlarge**
(oil on canvas, 2010, 24X36)

"Natasha in her safe place"

You are a microcosm of the Universe and all the answers you seek are within you. Know thyself! Take time to analyze your feelings, uncover the motivations behind your actions, dissect your thoughts, and I promise you will become fascinated with the person you are. Not to mention, save thousands of dollars on professional help…

An artist has an additional tool for self-examination at her* disposal – the power to take a long hard look at herself through a self-portrait. As a page out of a virtual diary, a self-portrait allows an artist to capture who she is at a particular moment in time, and will forever serve as a reminder of that time in her life. I don't know about you, but I personally love reminiscing…

I love that my house is a visual reference library of my life with dozens of 'past' Natashas reminding me where I've been. There is a Natasha at a crossroads. A very significant relationship in her life just ended and she doesn't know where to go from there. I look at her and smile because all I remember now is the love she felt before the breakup. She is the one perpetually confused. Not me. I moved on.

There is yet another Natasha digging into my soul with her uneasy stare. She just lost somebody close to her. For days she watched a human life slowly slipping out of its physical body and she was powerless to stop it. She wants to scream, but has to stay strong for the sake of others. That Natasha will go on to suffer in silence forever. I will look at her once in a while and note to myself that I can survive anything. I'm strong. I'm a fighter. I'm proud of who I am…

By now, you're probably wondering if my self-portraits are nothing more than just grim reminders of pain and suffering I've experienced in my life, but that's not the case. I don't like dwelling on the past. Only to remember where I've been. I'm an eternal optimist and a happy person. The dirty truth (and I think it applies to many creative people) is that I don't really feel like painting 'serious stuff' when everything in my life is A-OK. Could you blame me?

*Although I'm using 'she' and 'her' referring to an artist I do mean both genders.

"Whoever has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depths of all things."
Book of Thomas the Contender

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
Pablo Picasso

"There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see."
Leonardo da Vinci