Self portrait stuttering. Oil on board 23 x 31cm. Painting by Paul Aston.
I have a stutter that has helped to shape my life in several ways. Recently I have started to accept my stutter as an integral part of what makes me who I am and feel really happy about it . I've been trying to find positive portraits of stuttering in art history and have drawn a blank so far so I thought I'd make my own. The inspiration came from Giovanni Bellini's 'St. Francis in the Desert' in the Frick collection. In this painting the saints head is thrown back while he receives the stigmata. It has a strangely familiar quality to me - that temporary loss of control over your body which looks similar to the experience of stuttering. I've attempted to create the atmosphere of this temporary loss of control in this piece.