I stumbled across Les’ site a few years ago when I was looking for images of larger women, trying to make some peace with my own body. I wanted to gather some self-esteem and self-confidence in this area of my life.
I was immediately taken by his portraits and wanted one of my own. It took a long time to gather my courage to tell my story to a stranger and put myself in his hands.
I have struggled with weight and self-image since I was a teen. I was a girl of normal weight with curves in an age of Twiggy. In my unjustified struggle to lose weight I created a size “issue” for myself . My weight fluctuated but it never became a problem until my thirties when I had a serious health issue.
When I think about my inner worlds/self, the words that come to mind are wild child, gypsy, spirited, spiritual, whimsical, mystical, magical, rich, full, and innocence/wicked…. paradoxical. In real life I tend to be quiet and shy, but believe there is the wild child part that would like to break out, dance in the wind, have not a care, and shake off the constraints I place on myself.
I chose the theme of dancing in the wind, because I love the wind and, since childhood, I grew up loving to dance in the wind. The town I live in is known for high winds. As a matter of fact, the translation of the Indian name for our town is “Home of Evil Winds”. The mountain that Les placed in the background of my portrait is one I see from my backyard, and the mountain meadows are a piece of Heaven.
It's not obvious, but the portrait also contains symbols which have personal meaning for me. It is amazing to me how Les was able to take all of my data I deemed meaningful and integrate it into the art in a way which flows and crafts perfection.
The picture he created for and of me takes my breath away. I have used this extraordinary image as a jumping off point for life change. Seeing a view of myself as this beautiful woman, began a journey towards more self-confidence.
She who loves to dance in the wind
Who unleashes the wild child within
She who is becoming wise
Knowing love isn’t related to a size
She who is learning to believe in herself
With an extra-ordinary arteest’s help.
From the bottom of my heart… I thank you, Les, for jump-starting an incredible journey toward a life lived fully."
Apparently the spirit within your soul manifests itself through poetic words as well as through dance. The beauty and healing properties of nature are undeniably endless, and they serve as an aesthetic inspiration for my work--as do your illuminating words of rebirth.
Thank you for the kind words, Sally, and thank you for sharing your uplifting and exhilarating vision with everyone. You remind us that life's gifts and adventures are what we make of them.