Friday, February 3, 2012

My Mask - Me, Inside and Out

Judith Westerfield over at Creativity to the Max has facilitated workshops where the participants paint/color/collage...a mask that expresses their feelings.

A few months ago Judy sent me a mask to decorate, finally I have been feeling well enough to work on it.

As Judy suggested, I decorated the Outside, and the Inside of the mask.  The Outside shows what I show to every day people, those who don't know me well enough to know my health issues, or those I simply do not what to see the inner me.  The Inside shows how I feel about me, the things I only show with a few or keep to myself.  (If you read my other blog Picnic with Ants, you probably won't be surprised by the Inner Me, however, you may learn a little bit more about me.)

A dear friend once said, "If I had to describe you as a color, you'd be Yellow."
(Funny, it just so happens that my favorite color is Yellow!)
She explained, yellow is a happy color, full of light, life and joy.
I thought that was one of the best compliments I've ever received.
I realize now that I still try to put that Yellow Self forward.
She's the person I try to show others.
Miss Mary Sunshine.

Side view of my outer persona.

Inside, I'm much more complicated.
Below you will find close up views of my Inner Self.
You will notice many contradictory thoughts.
As I said...I'm complicated. 

For the inner part of the mask, I painted the face, then I cut out a bunch of words and some pictures from different magazines.  I then started looking through the words and just picked up the words that shouted at me.  I knew these words best described how I am feeling at the moment.  I didn't use a lot of pictures, the water running from my eye, the heart that seems to be leaking - broken, for a nose.

This was a great exercise. It helped me realize that I have very conflicting thoughts and emotions about myself, and that's OK.  I think it's normal to have these conflicts.  I'm not a machine or made with a cookie cutter, I'm a complicated woman!  I'm full of emotions, thoughts, and beliefs.  Over the mouth you will see the words "I Hate You", it's not unusual for me to tell myself that, but right beside it you will find the words "Easy to Love"...Sometimes I hate myself, but I remember to love myself too.  (often I just hate the things that are happening to me, not actually me.)
The one quote I find the most comforting, is "I'm beautiful on the Inside".


  1. How cool! I think we all have those words that knock about in our head that we don't always want to acknowledge. What a great mask!!

    I think my goal in life is to try to have them match (the inside and the outside) and to still be someone who can make people smile and feel positive, you know? My transparency dream--LOL! :)

  2. Rita,
    i think that's a great goal.

    I did have a hard time with the outer self, I think I'm pretty transparent to most people, and hope I still make people feel with my other blog...I hope I even though I tell it like it is, I hope I show some positivity too.

    I decided to show the me who I show to people I don't really know. Like store clerks, waiters, even some people at the hospitals and doctor's offices. It's so funny, the people I really should show my inner doctors, I often put on a happy face for them. I normally dress nice to go to the doctor, and wear makeup..ect. How very stupid of me really. HA!

    Live your transparency dream!
    You are always an inspiration.

  3. Visiting from Judy's site ... excellent post on your experience with the mask ... My mask (if I would do one) would be very similar to yours -- a different outside from the complicated workings of the inside. I love the idea of making word collage with it --- that use to be one of my favorite activities in high school/college. I recently found one, and found it very interesting to read again. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Becca,
    Welcome! I love Judy, she is such a great support to me!

    I'm glad you like the mask. when ever I used to get stuck doing an art project I would make a collage, it usually got out my block. Lately I've been doing a bit more....but not caring as much about the composition. : ) Just emotions bursting forth! It's very cathartic.

    I too recently found an old collage...I may have to post it...OK, now where did I put it this time?

    I encourage you to break free and create a collage again. Get it out...and hve fun!!

    again, thinks for coming by.
    hope to see you again.

  5. Replies
    1. Sharmila (beautiful name!)
      Thank you, I'm glad you liked it.

  6. The mask is an evocative and innovative piece of self "artwork." I'm so glad Judy/Judith sent you a mask to develop. You are so right about turning the mask around when you visit doctors rather than the sunshiny outside being the face you show the doctors. Especially with invisible illnesses, I think you have to show the inside of the mask in order to get them to begin to understand how you feel.
    Sorry it's taken me this long to comment on your mask project. Boy, do I have some catching up to do!

    1. Phylor,
      Please never apologize for being late or missing something of mine!
      I should apologize to my readers for not posting here more often.
      That creating something every day has been much harder the past few months.

      I'm glad you like the mask.
      i do need to show more of the inside to the doctors...but find myself wanting to please. So many of my doctors are so caring and compassionate, I hate to tell them...Hey, what you are doing isn't working! I want them to feel proud they fixed me. Silly I know. But I feel it hurts them when they get so confused treating me, i want to make them feel better.
      (yes, an issue i am discussing with my therapist!


  7. A beautiful Wendy on the inside and the outside. They are all one.

  8. P.S. I didn't get this link to your blog - just clicked on one of the referrer URL (which I rarely do) not realizing it was you.

    I've been really wrestling with where to go with my blog or even if I should stop blogging. After reading your post I'm thinking maybe I should get back to the original purpose of my blog - using creative expression therapeutically. Not sure yet but you have given me much food for thought.

    I so appreciate your raw honesty and inspiration you give others.
    with love always

  9. Oh Judy, What a lovely comment. I miss this blog, I haven't been here in so long, I'd like to get back to it, but have had such a hard time just keeping up with my regular blog over the past year. And I will admit I have not been creating as much as I would like. I read a lot, but create, not so much. However, I have been writing in my journal more. I should just let that stuff out on a page, if you appreciate honesty, you would appreciate those pages.
    Actually, my journal pages always include things I'm grateful for, and little doodles. I use a fountain pen, it makes me feel like my words flow on the page in beauty and not just words.

    I hope you continue to blog. Your creativity in your blog is what drew me to it, but your writing and sharing of love is what makes me return over and over again.
    love to you my friend


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