I may as well start at a beginning as one of my grandmothers always told me. Here is a portrait of me. It took …well… let me think… wow at least a whole lunch- time to choose the title.
The sketch is according to my mother of me when “I was 18 months old. It was apparently “… the first photo ever taken of me…” not according to “my late father. My mother was very fond of telling me things, credible but rarely true. She also took great delight in “cling filming” the lavatory on April Fools’ Day. Oh how we laughed.
The piece is based on a photograph taken professionally. In it I am dressed for the occasion in hand me downs. My father at the time had just set up his Veterinary Practice, was supporting a young family of four and a mortgage; so money was very tight. Unfortunately, I have only sisters older than me. So l suppose you can consider it also as a portrait of a transvestite.
I haven’t changed that much. I’ve lost a bit of the weight, thankfully! Goodness I was fat baby. The hair is as thin now as then so I keep it shorter. I don’t cross dress as much. If only because as a surveyor, it is a bit inappropriate to give advice to clients in a pink chiffon gown with matching accessories.
Why did I produce the piece? Well practice mainly but; if you look at my forehead there is a scratch. This has just been inflicted. Sibling rivalry! In spite of this, the feminine clothes, double chin, hair, etc. I think my expression is a neat contradiction. I appear just about to break into a smile. My mother has just called to me so that I would look at the camera for the photograph and of course I do not. I like to think it describes me succinctly. My default response is to grin and usually I have absolutely no idea what is going on!
A spooky coincidence I think. The cut on my forehead is exactly where I got hit by a golf ball later in my adolescence but that is another story.
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