Friday, September 01, 2006

Illo Friday - Safe


Self Portrait, 8 weeks pregnant -- Pencil, Sept 1st, 2006.

Baby. Safe in Mamma's tummy. I suppose this is as good a time/place as any to let the world know. I'm pregnant!!! Hubby & I are terribly excited.


I wasn't sure if I was going to post this drawing. One of the dangers of using yourself as a model is that your drawing may end up looking even more like you than you thought it might. Of course, I intended it to be a drawing of me, pregnant at 8 weeks. But I guess I thought my rough sketch lines would stylize it a bit. My husband chuckled when he saw the drawing, he said it definitely looked like me, but said it seemed tasteful enough to post. My mom said it would have been fine if not for the fact that it has my face. I started getting nervous posting it myself. My friends, relatives, art customers/clients, and salsa students all come here from time to time, and now they get to see me naked. Well, it's not really me naked. I mean I did take some artistic licenses of course. I came up with several censored versions of the drawing, but found myself getting a terrible taste in my mouth and wanting to rebel against my own censorship. So here it is. Unaltered. Raw. This is me (sort of). With Baby safe in Mamma's tummy, but with Mamma feeling vulnerable and exposed.

How sad that we can't just appreciate the naked form. As soon as it has a face/identity, especially if it is recognizable, it almost becomes lewd at the moment of recognition. But I started thinking about it. This is the way this drawing had to be. It had to be recognizable as me. It's me pregnant. Baby is safe in my belly. Maybe I could have drawn it with clothes on, but I think that would have taken away from the purity of the connection between me and my unborn. Then you would have identified me by my clothes and categorized me as a certain type. But, here, I am me, just me. No cover, no guise, nothing but me and Baby.

This reminds me of an article I read yesterday. Totally different situation. But we Americans definitely have a problem with nudity, especially motherly nudity. Why? Who knows. But apparently there is a big uproar about the scandelous photo of a nursing baby on the cover of "Baby Talk" magazine. Ridiculous! It couldn't be less sexual or lewd, or more beautiful.


Back to the full blog...

21 comments:

nadine said...

It's a beautiful drawing... I'm glad you posted it. What a perfect image for "safe".
Congratulations!

Zara said...

Great portrait. Congratulations!

Elisabeth said...

Thank you!! Thank you!! :)

Tracey said...

Congratulations! I think the drawing is beautiful. Kudos to you for not censoring yourself! I know it's hard sometimes.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Lovely sketch! What great expressiveness.

bill said...

congratulations! this is a lovely drawing - it reminds me a lot of the recently recovered munch madonna, mostly because of the dark outline that makes you look like you're sunk into the page - nestled sort of womblike? but also the blissful expression

carla said...

Congratulations! This self-portrait is nothing but beautiful and full of the strength and emotion of the beginnings of motherhood. Your expression here actually made me feelthe way I felt when I was pregrant with my son, many many moons ago! There is nothing more lovely than seeing the essence of something that is about the whole woman - physical, mental, emotional. It's quietly powerful! I am so glad you went with your decision to show us the drawing as it is. I wish you a healthy and easy pregnancy and - of course - a healthy happy baby:>

zordis said...

Nude is the perfection of the creator! The most beauty of all, mother and child! I love the way you did your self, reflecting the joy of beeing your self. Congratulation on your little one!

murphy girl said...

congratulations to you for your strength and resolve, and of course on your pregnancy; two very exciting events for you! well done!

Kunya said...

Great. Glad you posted it. It gives a warm feeling looking at it Congratulations.

Tony LaRocca said...

Congragts! I have a son & daughter, both too cute for their own good (like their mother.)

Jana Bouc said...

Ditto to what Carla said. And I'm so impressed by your strength and courage to express yourself honestly. Your drawing is beautiful and really captures an image of a strong woman who will be a wonderful mother. Congratulations!

Val Webb said...

I'm so glad you had the courage and resolve to post your self-portrait. It exudes strength and dignity, tenderness and love. Thanks for sharing it! (And congratulations!!)

ilustricia said...

I agree with Val. But I'm happy u did it. It's a beautiful scene.

Ninotchka said...

It's a gorgeous drawing and speaking from experience, I know you will LOVE having it after the babe arrives. Congratulations, by the way!

I'm so glad you stopped by my place. It's nice to "meet" you, Elisabeth. :)

chippamunkey said...

CONGRATS! That so exciting... great great take on the topic!

Teddi said...

Elisabeth, this is such a beautiful drawing of you. This should find a place on the wall of your home. Beautiful.

Lea Lyon said...

Congratulations! What an adventure you are starting on. I have a feeling that you feel just as safe as your growing baby, judging by the look on your face in the drawing.

albina said...

Congratulations! You are very brave to go ahead and post it -- great art and beautiful memories for the future!

aoisart said...

Congratulations! What a perfect illustration and theme for "safe" subject!!

faeorain said...

You made a good choice to post it. I'm glad you did. This is a very beautiful image, and you did an excellent job in rendering the warmth and emotions experienced with motherhood.