June 19, 2016  •  2 Comments

WASHED UPOn a mid winter day, I donned my wedding dress and headed to the beach for some self portraiture. People passed and looked, but I was undaunted by their gaze or their possible opinions. Where did this courage come from?

I’ve been getting a lot of attention lately for my courage around self-portraiture and modeling for my own artworks, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about how my so called courage came about.

Firstly the word courage was derived from the Latin word cor – meaning heart and became used as “to tell a story of who you are with your whole heart”. 

When I first started my journey as a child, I was stilted with unworthiness and shame.  I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, later slim enough or clever enough.

I went through my teens believing that no one would ever love me, feeling judged and judging myself.  My saving grace was that all this struggle built in me a strong and reliable resilience. Where there was no love or support I had to build my own emotional fortress.

I believe it was this resilience that propelled my out of a loveless marriage in search of real love. It took me seven of the thirteen years of marriage to build the courage to leave and it is still to this day the hardest thing I have ever done. 

My whole life since then has been about living out loud.  Along the way I learned to say who I was with my whole heart.  I had to expose my vulnerability, because it was the only way through to my truth.   I made mistakes and changed my mind and direction many times, and in this I learned to be imperfect.

Somewhere in the last few years I’ve realized that people liked my honesty about all the risqué and messy parts of my life.  To me, my adventures have been about an intense struggle to find worthiness and yet other people have seen only courage.

Most recently through my self-portraiture, I have come to understand that when we show our vulnerability we are at our most beautiful.  Recognising and embracing our vulnerability, this is the way to live a courageous life. 

I now know that vulnerability and imperfection are required right next to strength and accomplishment, we need them both and together they give us courage.

With Love Hazel




Beautiful image, beautiful words, Hazel. Much love! XXX
Dean Hohn(non-registered)
Thank you Hazel for sharing your explanation of your life's journey. I can't begin to know how hard it must have been to go through life carrying feelings and beliefs such as you have. I'm a firm believer that our art is a direct reflection of the influences in our life.
The resilience you developed as a child and young woman, now allows you to create art that tells a story in every piece. The fact you have decided to be your own model and get on the front end of the camera takes courage and belief in yourself as an individual. In so doing, you have become a role model for the AWAKE group and your pieces of fine art are truly amazingly beautiful.
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