Chin Up, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
A reflective self-portrait in mixed media, Chin Up serves as the debut piece in Wilkes’ current series: Window Dressings. The combination of acrylic on canvas with embroidery floss and stone beads creates a eye-catching texture and unique feel.
“I suppose this painting is meant to cause viewers to look deeper. On the outside is a women, covered in a sweater and adorned in jewelry and lipstick. Normal, beautiful, confident. That is how society would perceive such a visual. But what I hope people see is the strength. The sweater is pulled apart to reveal a heart that shines in darkness. Hidden from the world, but it glows inside of her. Her neck bears up her head and her chin is lifted, ready to face whatever stands before her.
Originally I was just practicing portraiture. But this piece took on a life of its own, as art often does. And it inspires me to take these ideas further into future projects. It may have been influenced by the poetry collection I was working on at the time, A Letter To Last Year. The point is, I believe we all deal with the same problem, while maybe not in exactly the same form. We all have trials and struggles, and we are all trying to rise above the darkness that is so prevalent in this world. Sometimes we feel like that darkness is inside of us, but that is simply not true. What this painting says to me, is that we are not defined by our darkness. We have control over the actions we choose to take.”
Kim Wilkes is a Phoenix based artist and writer. Still expanding and honing her craft, her finished work will appear here on her website. She plans to continue this series throughout the year, with a focus on introspection and faith.
To follow her progress more closely, you can find her on social media @kimwilkeswriter