UPDATE !!!

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Welcome to my “refreshed” blog, now that my Susan T. Martin-Out of the Gutter blog has been repurchased as my Portfolio. We shall see how that goes. At the moment it looks as if I have shot myself in the foot, but perhaps as I tweak it my readership will recover…

So, this is me at the present, with my funky ” I am still Cool” hairdo. I happen to really like my hair this way, if only it didn’the need trimmed every extreme15 minutes! (I must cut down on those hair vitamins!) I have become obsessed lately with my scarred countenance, and have been investing in the latest full coverage cosmetics. This may be, and I think is, a response to the skin cancer I have been diagnosed with, which has resulted in more scars from the removal of many moles, etc.

Mom had to have a devastating operation on her nose to remove Basal Cell Carcinoma, and her self esteem never recovered. I had to constantly try to assure her that she was still the beautiful person everyone knew and loved. She would stare in the mirror and make a pokey noise and say, ” Yuk! I am SO ugly!”

Listening, I would ask her how she thought that made me feel as her daughter, and her “spittin’ image”. She would try not to complain, but the unsightly scars were as “plain as the nose on her face”. And likewise, mine.

As a child of parents with extreme acne, and my brother also plagued with this as an adolescent, I had a fear, of course. Hearing students at our school call him “zit face” makes me cringe to this day, and as I age I cringe more. It seems like all my physical flaws have just intensified and become magnified as the years pass…Where has my self confidence gone, the self worth I worked so hard to achieve?

My saving grace is my art. Here I can show myself in my purest form, and let my inner beauty flow onto the canvas, unhindered. I can find beauty in the mundane, in discarded and devalued objects I find all around me. Metaphors for myself, in old toolboxes, clocks, gutters and cinder blocks. I can cover them in rainbow colors, the paint is their  “cosmetic”, their “foundation”.

And after I am finished with this refuse, this trash, it is ready to be accepted, cherished, and loved. These artworks are still what they have always been, deep under their layers of misuse, abuse and the ravages of time…useful, helpful, dignified objects. Now, however, they are

Works of Art.

And in retrospect, so am I.