Is This Too Much?

My grandmother use to draw pin-up girls; scantily clad WWII beauties making ridiculous poses like catching a giant beach ball in an absurdly awkward way that accentuated breast and butt alike. When my adolescent self found my grandma’s sketch pad hidden at the bottom of a desk drawer, I was in awe . . . not of the bikini clad bodies but of my grandmother’s ability to draw so well.

I went through a period of time where I would try copy my grandmother’s work; drawing and redrawing the same pin-up models from my grandma’s book over and over. My work just never seemed to match the quality of her images. But I was encouraged to keep trying.

I was obsessed with getting the work right and I took my sketch book to school so I could practice . . . say during a boring history class or two. I don’t think it occurred to me that the other children or my teacher in that Catholic grade school might not understand why a young girl was drawing under-dressed women over and over. I got a talking to. . . Not completely unlike the talk a certain fictional character gets from his principle in this enjoyable pop-culture reference. . . This is how sexual repression starts dear readers.


I’ve been listening to Marina Abramoic’s book, ‘Walk Through Walls’. I find her a fascinating person. In one early performance piece, she crouched naked over a fan breathing in air until she passed out. In another, she runs across a room naked smashing into a male artist who runs naked from the opposite side of the room over and over. She’s cut herself with knives in at least two performances that I can recall and she even made urinating art.

I like to think of myself as an artist, but there are many boundaries I have yet to test. I don’t often put that much of myself into my art.

Maybe I should . . .


I was recently told that I needed to “tone down my personality”. I realize this is just a peculiar statement made by a person that doesn’t always seem exactly tactful with his/her interpersonal skills, but it infuriated me none-the-less. Can you guess what happens when you tell someone like me to ‘tone it down’?

For months now, I’ve tried to control a certain personal demon with a  short leash . . .

And it’s just not working for me. I have to let the demon run loose somewhere. To exercise her to make myself free of her again. I need to amp up my personality. Be me on steroids! Over-the-top! Do something even I never dreamed I could do!

Yeah, like pose nude for art!

. . . Wait. . . what. . . no. . . Stupid Abramoic book.


The idea didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. I read some of Mary Szybist’s ‘Incarnadine’, where she presents the Annunciation from Mary’s perspective in an erotic way. Szybist said in an interview that she did her best to allow Mary, “some kind of bodily erotic experience, which is not how we tend to think of Mary. . . Again that sense of what is expected. What is a female body supposed to look like?”

It’s about this time that I kept getting this image of Eve offering an apple in a powerful bear-chested knowing way. . . not an Eve image where everything is made modest with fig leaves and long flowing hair covering parts. I tried drawing and painting the image a few times, but it wasn’t coming out the way it was in my head. . . In my head, it’s always a self portrait. . . No matter how much I tried to avoid that fact.


Voice #1 in Kate’s Head: You can smear yourself with paint and take a photo. Let the apple cover your boobs. That will give you the psychedelic look you like and you’ll still be able to share the image.

Voice #2 in Kate’s Head: Dumb ass. . . The whole point is to let that boob be what it is. . . And I’m not smearing myself with paint. The mess is not worth the result.

Voice #1 in Kate’s Head: Do you really want to share a nude image of yourself? This could seriously impact your social standing. What if coworkers are uncomfortable with what you share? It could impact your job. . . kicked out the Garden. . . It could very well be a self destructive metaphor . . .

Voice #3 in Kate’s Head: I think you should just make a painting. Then it’s not really your boob, but a representation of your boob. You can’t get in trouble for a likeness of a boob on a figure that only somewhat resembles you.

Voice #1 in Kate’s Head: Oh come on! You think people won’t look at that and think, “Look. Kate’s naked.”

Voice #3 in Kate’s Head: I like the painting idea. You can make yourself thinner in a painting too.

Voice #2 in Kate’s Head: #3, you really need to shut-the-f-up before I deliberately paint in extra skin folds. I’m not playing with you.


In the end I opted for a painting/digital photo. I managed to make something that was close enough to the image in my head. I like it enough.

However sharing it proved harder than I thought. I’d post it to Facebook, then delete it five seconds later. I post it again, only to take it down again thinking about what my church lady friend would think. I put it on Instagram for an hour and then deleted it. How can I just force my sort-of-a-boob onto unsuspecting people? I did not have the guts to post it without commentary.

But posting it on my blog with a bunch of words and such before it. . . no problem.

I realize some of you will think I am making much ado about nothing. Some of you may think I’ve gone a bit too far. Some of you will not even have made it all the way through this writing having long lost interest my neurotic rambling.  But this was hard for me. I don’t even normally do selfies. I am stepping over a boundary that I have created for myself probably as far back as the fourth grade.

Just know that you don’t have to go there. I have prepared all my readers. If you want to see me as ‘Eve’, scroll down. If you don’t, then don’t scroll down. It’s that simple. I am not forcing my representation of my boob on you . . .

And I’ve exercised my demon. . . for now.

Scroll at your own risk. . .















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