Sunday, February 20, 2011

My New Project

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I'm certainly enjoying making all these little portraits. Each one is about two inches square. I plan to combine them in some bigger work after I get sick of doing them individually. I'm waiting for some idea to crystallize from studying these faces and thinking about how I came to know them. When I was quite young, under ten, my father gave me the Zondi test for the first time. It consisted of looking at groups of around ten pictures and selecting which you liked the best and which you liked the least. I don't remember how many sets there were. The examiner then interpreted your choices in terms of personality traits. The photos are of mental patients, and Zondi, a psychiatrist, was testing his theory that mental illness had some type of genetic basis that caused people to respond in certain ways to the pictures. I can't remember the details, and considering how hard it was to find any information about the test, apparently it never gained much acceptance. My father was a psychologist and entertained us children with all kinds of tests. We were happy to be guinea pigs. I can still see Rorschach (I don't know how it's spelled) ink blots if I close my eyes........

I've thought about the people in theses pictures off and on over my life and finally decided to look them up. It's amazing that I recognize every one of the faces and remember looking at them laid out on the Formica table top in the kitchen of our house in the 50's. I can't remember which ones I liked or didn't like, but they are all familiar. As I draw them, I feel as if I am re-creating them somehow, adjusting them a little. Once I have examined every aspect of their faces, once I have come to understand every turn of their lip, every glint in their eye, every stray hair, every convoluted twist and turn of their ear....I find that I can't chose any of them to dislike. They've become my children.
Posted by Picasa


Remantics said...

Hi again Cheri,
Thank you for your message on my blog. The floods have receded - only part of my yard went under, I was much luckier than many of my neighbours. I live in Fairfield, near the river and only about 3km from Brisbane city, this is considered an inner city suburb. I am back home now.
I really love all your little portraits and the story that goes with them, also the lovely paintings in the previous post.
I wonder if your little oranges might actually be cumquats? If so then they make lovely marmalade.
I hope you and your feathered and furry friends are keeping warm..

write essay for me said...

Very interesting post! Thanks a lot.