The other week, for no particular reason, I imagined my husband organising my obituary using one of the photos he’s taken of me. He has an amazing knack of capturing hideous facial expressions.
So, I decided that I might create a self portrait, at least I could control what the world saw after my demise. At the start of the project I admit I was feeling down, sifting through a bunch of images when you look your worst has that effect. However, a week later I was having a ball. Oh my goodness, I could never have imagined the power to be had in choosing what you look like. I actually laughed out loud (no really, I’m too old for this LOL stuff). My man kept giving me serious looks, worry in his eyes as I giggled away throughout my work.
How can I describe being able to knock 20 years off your face with a few artful strokes, give yourself luscious lips without the pain and expense of surgery. Oh, and eyes, shining with youthful glamour. I looked amazing. Except for my hair of course, I just couldn’t get it right and decided I needed a break from myself.
Very few photos show me without a kangaroo, they are the animal I love the best in the world. I adore painting roos, I added an orphaned red kangaroo called Ariel.
……so after the excitement of doing that, a bit like having one chocolate. I decided I had to paint another.
It was around this time that my imagination took hold. What if I could send out a message to mankind using this piece as a central hub. Produce a visual story of anguish and frustration? A panel of work to show the plight of an ordinary wildlife carer of kangaroos and the terrible impact man has on the species in Australia. Yes, I was on a roll.
By late afternoon, I’d come out of the stratosphere and out of nowhere decided as I was looking at myself, I’d created a big fat lie. So, I painted a few lines on my face, added lots of grey hairs, thinned my luscious lips and sat back to assess.
I didn’t want to see that greying aging woman, who wonders if she has left it too late to do something meaningful with her life. In the reality of my heart, I feel a vibrant 30 year old, with so much good work still to do, with and for wildlife and I imagine I look great. I thought, “This is my painting, I want to be doing what I love doing and look like I’ve never looked.”
You know what? I paint from the heart, I attempt to create what I see in my mind. So, I changed it back to how it was again and immediately felt better with the lie, because I realised it wasn’t. ...Not really.
'TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE' - by Samantha Tro
Samantha "I'm a person who feels I live in paradise and truly love Australia after immigrating here in 2003. I work as a foreign exchange trader, live with my true soul mate, husband Albert. I have a passion for Aussie wildlife and became a registered wildlife carer in 2005 and can say I feel truly privileged to be able to raise and rehabilitate orphan wallaby/kangaroo joeys. I love these creatures with my heart and soul. My dream is to be able to help struggling volunteer wildlife carers, financially, so that they can do what they do best without worrying how to pay the next vet bill"