Posts Tagged ‘Judith Leyster’

Judith Leyster, holding 18 brushes in her self-portrait

Aging My Way

The theme for the March issue of Artists Magazine is “Put Your Best Face Forward.” It then goes on to feature self-portraits of artists, of which two stood out to me as being women who knew their own worth. The portraits were painted by Dutch artist Judith Leyster and American artist Alice Neel.

While we live in a world where too many of us spend way too much time trying to copy media influencers and others who may or may not have admirable qualities, the self-portraits of these two women tells me that, flaws and all, they knew they were enough.

I wonder if their self-confidence was easier to come by because they lived before the age of social media.

Judith Leyster even knew her worth, or so it looks like from her self-portrait, as far back as the 1600s. Her self-portrait (above) exudes confidence, even though she lived in a time when women were still considered property. In fact, her work, after her death, was attributed to her husband and another artist, a common practice back then

Thankfully, Judith was rediscovered in 1893 and her work properly attributed.

The second artist, Alice Neel (1900-1984) is an artist whose work I have long loved. And the self-portrait she painted, and is sitting beside below, is one of my very favorite pieces.

Alice Neel, sitting proudly by her self-portrait.

It’s called Alice Neel at 80. The painting tells me that Alice was a confident old broad who didn’t give a damn that her body parts had succumbed to gravity. Alice knew her worth despite the toll the years had taken.

Although I have no intention to paint a self-portrait of my own nude 83-year-old body, Neel’s painting does let me feel more self-confident about it – and to see the beauty the years have given all us old broads.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is an avid reader, an enthusiastic birder, the author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), is always searching for life’s silver lining, and these days aging her way – and that’s usually not gracefully.

Read Full Post »