egg tempera

Of Atlas’ Woes

By December 12, 2011April 21st, 20218 Comments
Of Atlas’ Woes
egg tempera on panel
I completed this painting awhile ago but wasn’t sure if I was ready to post it. I tried to put it up on Facebook and the only respones I got were from close friends. Then another friend called me that had seen it, was worried, and asked if I was okay. Yes, I am fine. It did make me realize that most people want pretty pictures and this one can be a little disturbing.
Let me explain though. It is a self portrait. I did it over the summer as part of my studio project for my Masters. Part of my doing the program was to do something for me. I wanted an excuse to paint how I felt about things instead of what I usually paint. Something a little more conceptual. I also wanted to see if I could paint a portrait in egg tempera.
Of Atlas’ Woes is my biggest accomplishment of this past summer.
To explain it briefly: What looks like a scar on my shoulder is actually a map of the world. I chose to make it look like a scar because when a crisis happens in your life and you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it does change (or scar) you.
I have gone through several crises the past few years and it was affecting my health. My neck and shoulders hurt constantly and it was explained to me by a massage therapist that the pain was a manifestation of how I felt. I did feel like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and I felt that there wasn’t anyone in my life that could help lift that burden. Wow! She told it like it is.
So, this was my attempt at letting my loved ones know how I felt and hopefully relieving some of the pain.
Leslie Lambert

Author Leslie Lambert

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • RH Carpenter says:

    I think this is one of the most personal paintings you've shared with us and I love it! I knew exactly what you were saying – the weight of the world, like Atlas, was or is on your shoulders at times. I know that feeling and the pain that comes, too. Keep sharing these, Leslie. Just because someone doesn't get it doesn't mean it's not a wonderful painting full of meaning and well painted! I once had people ask me if I was okay because I started talking about Buddhism! ha ha

  • jyothisethu says:

    to be true, only after reading the explanation, i felt ok…
    we always want to see beautiful people as it is or, a bit enhanced…

    but the idea is great…

  • Leslie, you need a poem to go with this painting. One that gives and explanation. I thought the woman in the painting was wearing something made of torn lace.

  • Sadami says:

    Hi, Leslie,
    Thank you for sharing the interesting and beautiful work. At first look, I thought of a sever "sun burnt." But the title reminds me of Atlas in Greek Myth and knew tempera took huge energy and time. Then, your post explained all. Your concept and skills to visualize the invisible are brilliant. I'm sure many artists share your pain and joy. Please keep up!!
    Kind regards,Sadami

  • Thank you everyone for your encouraging words. You have all been so kind to offer your thoughts. It has been your comments and your own passion that has buoyed me up through the hard times.

  • Your picture is really amazing, you did a wonderful job. I am however sorry to hear that you are feeling that way, I hope that things are starting to improve for you and that world is shifting off your shoulders a bit.

  • Thank you Wendy! The world is already shifting.

  • mamalena says:

    It's beautiful…and the title says it all…