Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rij completed this self-portrait of the artist himself contemplating his work in 1628. The colors are dark, but there is joy here. As a viewer, we’re not privy to the canvas visible only to the artist swept in shadow.
Put yourself in the artist’s shoes and step back to examine the canvas before you – what have you created in your craft? Are you stepping back from an empty canvas in preparation to paint, to course correct midway, or are you observing your final masterpiece? At any stage of our careers to take a look at what we’ve created and continue to build. You’ll also notice that the canvas is sitting in a beam of light while the artist is in shadow – who is the work you’ve created for? How can you step back and let the work speak for itself and continue to serve, regardless of the artist’s presence?
Brianna Curran, Washington, DC