Growing up, people didn’t like to smile in photographs. They just stared into the camera.
Today, as I flip through the photo album of my memory, I’m happy that I can remember some spontaneous times, when people weren’t conscientious about the camera and weren’t so deadpan serious. Times when they let their guard down and did smile. Because that’s how I like to remember them.
Riding the subway. Going fast and still arriving late.
Growing up, we went everywhere together. You wouldn’t know that my family didn’t own a car or that my mother couldn’t drive. Rocking and rattling along and yelling to be heard over the sound of metal wheels flying along steel tracks, defying gravity!
*I enjoyed painting this one. Bonus! I got to paint six mini abstract paintings and you didn’t even notice them, to not like them. Ha!
Sometimes women leave. It isn’t always planned. Some pass away. Others make career moves. Some are post-partum & challenged. And some, some women just hang up their red dress and leave. That’s when a dad becomes more than a man.
He’s strong, he’s resilient and he’s present.
So he cooks like mommy use to do. He goes to work and he cleans the house too. And when he braids his daughter’s hair, they both hope she’ll return🙏
All families don’t look alike. Some are made up of two Moms, some are traditional with a mom & a dad, while others are two dads. If we could paint a picture of love with brush strokes & let it be called art, we would value it not by what we see, but how it makes us feel inside, when we look at it. Love is love 💕
If you’re trying to think of something to do, stop by the Piano Craft Gallery on Tremont Street in Boston. You can thank me later 🙂
Forbidden Fruit the #ILikeYourWorkPodcast Fall Exhibition opened last night. It runs from now thru Sept 26th. Gallery hours are: Fridays 6 -8pm Saturdays & Sundays 12 -5pm. A fantastic showing!!!
Perhaps what amazed me the most, is that despite all the people wearing masks and following Covid-19 protocols, the show accomplished what art always seems to do, it transported us. And for that period of time, we completely forgot all about ‘Rona and her never-ending pandemic. Oh, what a joy!!!
Hot Damn! It’s happening, tomorrow my solo exhibition will be installed on Billboard Hope!!!
When I was a kid, I used to walk past this billboard in Boston’s historical John Elliot Square, almost every day. Back then the ad space was used to sell negatives, like cigarettes and alcohol. And as you might imagine, they both sold well. But now there’s a chance that Dayenne Walters’ vision to display hopefulness might sell too.
And after a global pandemic, don’t we all need to be positive & hopeful?
If you’re in the Roxbury neighborhood & have a minute, drive past Billboard Hope and check it out. Each month thru January 2022, a different artist will have a solo exhibition on display, my painting runs from Aug 30 – Sept 26.
Maybe it’ll make you smile, just a little bit. I hope so🥰🙏
I woke up to this headline and smiled. That’s what it does. And that’s the response I want to illicit when people see my art. Even if it’s only a little smile.
After a pandemic the goal should be simply to co-exist, to get along and every once in a while to smile.
When I heard that a dilapidated Billboard was going to be resurrected and repurposed, I pulled out my paintbrushes and went to work. As a kid, I had walked by the Billboard and I remembered cigarette and alcohol being advertised.
So when the Founder of Billboard Hope, Dayenne Walters placed a Call Out to artists to submit their work for consideration, the project resonated with me.
I’m so proud to be one of the artist to be selected. My art titled: “Free Knowledge Must Bring Your Own Container” will be on solo display from August 30 – Sept 26th. If you have a chance, drive by. I hope it makes you smile 😊
This morning I received news of Outsider Art, not labeling me as such, but nonetheless bringing attention to the fact that I haven’t attended art school.
(Full disclosure, I don’t have an MBA, no MFA and I haven’t spent hours studying the human form or still life.)
“Outsider Art” is defined on Wikipedia as “Outsider artists who are artists with little or no contact with the mainstream art world. They are frequently on the margins of society: for example, slaves, prisoners, and the mentally ill. Their creative output is referred to as Outsider Art.”
I wasn’t sure how to feel. The word “outsider” is a pretty discouraging word, it’s cold and divisive. Unlike the word “insider” which conjures up thoughts of inclusivity and warmth.
Perhaps the only reason that I continued to read the email, was because the person who sent it, a stranger, is highly regarded in the art world and knows a lot about art curating.
It peaked my interest, as so many things do and I Googled it. Come to find out Outsider Art is relatively a new term, though the act of making outside art surely began with the drawings of the first caveman, acknowledged, collected and curated.
There’s Outsider Art Fairs held annually around the world, one is held at the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City annually. There’s also American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Maryland https://www.avam.org/exhibitions-and-events that has year round exhibitions.
When I first began this blog I struggled with a decision, should I just write or should I also share my art. I vocalized my hesitancy in those first days of blogging, I didn’t consider myself an artist and a trained artist named Chris Ludke* (who writes a blog named Plein Air Experience), left a kind comment for me. Later Chris shared my blog. It was validation and acceptance. Slowly my confidence grew from that first nudge and I’ve been posting my paintings ever since.
Which brings me to my news…
Next month one of my paintings titled “Free Knowledge Must Bring Your Own Container” will be exhibited on solo display part of Billboard Hope 2021 in Boston’s historic John Elliot Square in Roxbury from August 30- September 26th. Meanwhile, across town, in the South End, running simultaneously and independently another of my paintings, titled “Ameryca’s Two Sons” will be on display, as part of the Forbidden Fruit Fall Exhibition at Boston’s Piano Craft Gallery (Sept 3 – Sept 26th).
In 2016, I was hospitalized for nearly a month fighting for my life and a team of dedicated doctors saved my life. Later the hospitalist visited my room and told me “Go home & do nothing” and I’ve been painting ever since, releasing the #OutsiderArtist within.
I vividly recall the first time my brother let me hold one of his most beloved possessions, a record. He carefully instructed me on the proper handling- how I was to cradle the album by the edges. That it was sacrilege to touch its surface, as the oils from my skin would ruin it. I was genuinely scared, as if record moguls would come snatch me up for such a heinous infraction.
He called it respecting his albums. Even now, I’m mesmerized by watching a record spin around and around. I always pause before placing a needle on a track’s groove.
And I’m happy that it’s called a “groove” because that’s exactly what it is! It’s truly one of the best technologies ever invented. In fact we should have a national Vinyl Day and to celebrate, we should peel the label off an album, because it doesn’t matter what song has been recorded, the art is in the vinyl. And we should gently carry it by the edges, carefully place it on the spindle, and as it begins its 33 1/3 spin (what a cool speed:) we should lift the needle above the midpoint of the album’s grooves & set it down and we should settle into it. Just listen.
I listen to jazz, Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Whew, I love that sound, the crackling goes deep and inspires me while I paint.