I cannot remember a time - even as a child - when I was not intrigued by the marvel of creating art. There was never an issue about my being an artist. Everything i did in life led me to art.
I sometimes refer to myself as a stillhunter, searching my surrounding for meaning and beauty; traveling, living among people, in and out of many places. A stillhunter follows her call of interests, always learning to see, understand and enjoy. My art reflects my years spent traveling. "When the artist is alive in any person,"Robert Henri once said, "whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people."
Creating a painting does not mean just selecting a subject and then painting it. I try to express to the viewer the mood and impact of a feeling, and my sensitivity to a subject. Then I invite her to use her imagination to enter into and respond to my artistic experience. A certain mystique prevails when the images I create fascinate and captivate the viewers, and incite them to think about their own lives and those or others.
Although my comfort level is probably highest when I paint with oil, I enjoy working in watercolor, pencil, ink, pastels, and charcoal. I cherish the opportunity to explore all forms, styles, methods and mediums of art. Clearly, i acknowledge no sizable division between realism and abstraction. Some of my work is representational, while others are in the styles of romanticism, impressionism, stylization or nonobjective. I have never encountered an art form I do no wish to know more about; nor have I ever met a people without luminous beauty.
Each of us experiences those moments when we seem to see beyond the usual. Henri said it best: "Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom." Painting provides the opportunity to express our perceptions of those moments with integrity, feeling, vitality, creativity, poetry, rhythm, and, mostly, with color. The key is diversity.
The Man from Kau
“The Man from Kau” is a pencil drawing of tribal man I sketched while traveling in the Kau African village located along the Nile at the border between Egypt and Sudan.
Other People's Children
Each of us is responsible for other people’s children - street children in Chechnya, starving babies in Rwanda, refugee infants in Bosnia, gangs in the cities of America, or the abused children next door. These are the children who will rescue mankind, providing we give them back: their dignity of life, their humanity, their kindness, and, most importantly, their humor.
Viewers of this painting sense the rhythm, song and dance expressed by the images taking part in an old fashion Baptist baptism.
The Dying Goose
From the window of my lake home in Missouri, I watched a dying goose. The ailing, isolated bird inspired me to write a poem and finally to create this painting.
The Blues Man
His audience listens compassionately to the love songs and broken dreams vocalized by the Blues Man.
This painting is from my grandmother series that depicts the unremitting emotion and memory of wise and loving grandparents worldwide. The two strong, luminous, expressive faces on the clean, white background say more with less.
There are certain rich, vibrant flowers that only grow among rocks.
There is no peaceful place inside this clown; no safe space. Her external radiance hides the anger, sadness, fear, and loneliness screaming within her soul.
Stillhunters, in the forest of certain African villages, pursue unobtrusive quiet and tranquility. During an absolute state of peaceful surrender these still hunters uncover, they are eventually able to achieve the perfect unfolding of divine love, peace and harmony.
The Two Venettas
This painting describes the special feelings I experienced as my daughter and I hovered together on a cold Missouri winter afternoon outside a restaurant while she buttoned my coat. It depicts the warm and protective relationship shared by my daughter--whose name is also Venetta--and me.
This painting is of a Ghanaian friend and adopted sister in West Africa. “Akua” is also my Ashanti name.
For The Good Times
“For the Good Times” was painted at the request of my daughter, Venetta. The painting is a part of my daughter’s gallery.
The Washer Woman
This painting depicts the destiny of the Black woman of yesterday.
The strong background colors and commanding figure represents the resilience of African American women throughout history as they struggle under unthinkable conditions to protect their children.
The Boogaloo Dancers
The flow and movement of the figures awaken in the viewers an urge to boogie along with the dancers.
The beauty, wisdom and matriarchal characteristics of African elephants have always interested this artist.
There is no prescribed technique for this runner. There are just his survival instincts.
The Homeless Man
During a shopping trip, I came upon this hopeless man sleeping outside Neiman Marcus’s rich, golden gates in downtown Los Angeles.
Faces of Black Women
“Faces of Black Women” tells a gripping, accurate, and timely story of Black women in America. The luminous colors set against a black background speak volumes of their glory, degradation, as well as what has been done and what remains to be achieved.
Homeless Woman in Moscow
In this painting, I intend to create a motivational symbol that cleanses the psyche when challenged by the image of the homeless woman who dominates her radiant, colorful background.