Can painting a portrait create an emotional healing?

mini deniseIt all began when Russell Bradley painted my portrait. My necessity to be invisible has been with me for a long time. Invisible of voice and face. When I looked through a version of my memoir recently, I read that I promised as a young girl, (after messing up my speech in Church) that I would never speak (publicly) again. I wonder if this has something to do with the deep reasons for not being out there, as I would like, with my work?

Having people talk about my portrait was a first, and a lovely experience. When Russell painted another, which for a nano second seemed exposing as he showed my sad face, and then another, to the world…but I quickly let go. I said to myself, it’s ok, I can show the world my sad face, plus my… don’t mess with me face, without getting punched in the face as happened when I was a teenager. And it was freeing.

Russell ( wrote: Portrait of Denise E Gow “The Face is an embodiment of her Future self. A dynamic woman, strong sensual and intelligent. The depth of shadow on her face expresses the profound experience of life. A writer must survive such pain to become self-aware and relate it through her work.” And reading that made it feel ok too. Freeing.

Well, this is new. This is a revelation. So, the world can see my sad face which many people used to mimic and reminds me that my father’s nickname for me was MinkMonx, but which stood for Misery. Misery was my father’s name for me.

I do hope I can now go out into the world, which others find so easy and which for me has always been terrifying. You may find this odd as I’ve worked as an award winning director for years. But as a director you can easily hide, I found strategies to do this. Perhaps now I won’t have to. I’ll let you know.

mini portrait


One thought on “Can painting a portrait create an emotional healing?

  1. I wanted to do something different with portraiture, not just some one sitting and an Ego, but a break down of what it is to FACE the Human experience. Many Insights come through whilst doing the work and its as if I step out of time. Hours can go by and I think its been 10 minutes.

    The journey to well Being which we all face involves the eternal conflict of Heaven and Hell within us. There is no way to escape it because pain is a reality for every one. The way we understand the conflict and deal with the pain is the sign of our Evolution . The less conflict we have within ourselves the more whole we become. It is a stabilisation process.
    Perhaps the Portraits can help one see ones self in such a profound way the identity one believes oneself to be is let go of in exchange for tranquillity. Heaven and Hell are within oneself, so one decides where it is they want to establish them selves.
    One has to be absolutely Honest, and Denise has risen above the wall she sits on to make her life a renewable source of love .

    I thank you so much Denise,


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