Artwork by Ross Cochrane
The landscapes I paint are often the landscapes of a person’s face. I love the beauty of old faces especially, with hard-won life-lines etched in wrinkles or caught in the stories that have shaped their unique personalities.
Pastor Greg Morse in his article “Lift her chin with your love” writes,
“We live in a … culture, where beauty is digitally, and professionally, enhanced. The new standard is beyond reach for those unwilling to starve, inject, photoshop, and undress. The world has set up its beauty pageant, banishing those unwilling to participate, … Women can’t grow old. They can’t gain weight. Can’t have health complications … Can’t be seen recovering from surgery. Can’t wear gray as a crown of glory (Proverbs 16:31). Their beauty must be undiminished, unwavering, plastic.”
As an artist and Chaplain in Aged Care, I lament this tragedy; and I challenge it. I resolve to quieten the insecurity of the aged, to lift their heads, survey their weathered skin, and tell them emphatically, “You are beautiful. Let me see your face and let me hear your voice”
I will seek to celebrate the imperfections that the mirror shows; with every sag, scar, and wrinkle; because they deserve to be seen as beautiful, … their eyes . . . their hair . . . their smile . . . just as they are.
It is the creative part of me that is surprised by the process of creation and gets lost in time and space, caught up with seeing the beauty and complexity of a face and the accompanying colours, textures and tones I see around me. I would like to grow in this and since I am only 65, I have still much to learn. Winning this course would enable me to grow.