Arterie Fine Arts
Self Portrait
Oil on Canvas
40" x 30"
Sheri Lee Butler

This piece is a self-portrait with two poems written on the canvas. As a cat admirer, it represents my desire to possess the calm Zen-like attitude of cats in all situations, while as human feeling more conflicted over purpose and expectations in passage through life. The desired cat in me seeing a disorganized and distracted monkey.
The imagery is of a cat breaking out of a human skin suit and holding the artist's face as a mask.

The poem from my perspective is:
Who that I am; the mask that is seen or the soul inside,
the character that shield, the heart that yields or
the wise desire in a feline find, that keen Zen.
Serenity blends that I were this instead of who that I am.

The poem from the cat's perspective is:
Monkey, monkey, in the tree,
aping everything that you can see.
For all that you can do, hand, voice and brain,
wishing instead to accomplish my stride, wearing
my sleek fur, defy gravity and live this life, full, yet
of graceful reserve.

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