About Me

My photo
I'm a Guilford College graduate with a B.S. in Criminal Justice; I minored in Visual Arts Photography. My blog tracks the highs and lows of my experience in a Film Photography course during the Spring of 2013 and up to the present, as I delve into digital photography. I may even include other mediums of art such as acrylic paint, graphite drawings, etc. I'll talk about my experiences snapping photos or simply snapping from frustration as well as my successes and failures, tips and tricks that I've learned, and exploring the photography/art world through the lens of a Black woman.

10 July 2015

About Alexandria Gregory

Alexandria is a Guilford College graduate ('14) with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She minored in Visual Arts/Photography. She was born in Charlotte, but was raised and resides in Winston-Salem, NC. She enjoys drawing, painting, film and digital photography, and singing. Alexandria has always enjoyed arts and crafts since she was a young girl. As she grew, she developed a passion and improved her craft. From elementary school through college (where she minored in art), Alexandria has always made it a point to sign up for art classes as an elective, because she enjoyed it so much.

Alexandria is a social justice activist and feminist; many themes related to the aforementioned can be seen in some of her artwork, such as "With Liberty & Justice for all?", "The Afropuff Girls," and "B(hue)auty." Blackness, Black pride, feminism, and body positivity are very important to her. She tries to incorporate those themes into her artwork, because they resonate with her and she feels that representation matters. Positive representations of natural hair, blackness, women's rights, and various shapes and sizes of the human body are needed in art, media, culture, and society.

If she had to describe her style, she would describe it as a mix of Realism and Expressionism/Fauvism. She combines that with social themes that resonate with her as well as her habit of painting people without faces. She was inspired by artist, Lashonda Scott Robinson, when she was in I.B. Art in high school to get into painting people without faces and fell in love with style ever since then. Other artists that she is inspired by are Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, MarkusPrimeLives, and Nuri (ActionHankBeard).

A few of Alexandria's accolades include being a Crosby Scholar and member of the National Honor Society and Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. She was honored as Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for the 2013-2014 school year. In college, she was on Dean's List for 3 consecutive semesters. She's been featured on For Harriet, BlkWomenArt.com, Snooty Judy's blog, and As Told by Erica Leigh's blog.

Keep up with Alexandria here:


09 July 2015

25% OFF Print Sale

Get 25% OFF when you spend at least $10.00 on PRINTS (expires at 11:45PM EST on 07/20/2015).

Prints are offered in 5x7 or 8x10 on Photo Paper. Price ranging from $20-25; again, they're currently 25% OFF, however. If you order your print by 3:00 pm EST, I can have it printed and shipped to you that same day!

27 May 2015

Finally, coffee mugs!

As requested, my artwork is now available on coffee/tea mugs. They will be printed on white 11 oz. classic mugs. Buy yours here. Watermark as shown is not on the actual product.

21 May 2015

Digital Photography Flashcards and Notes

My digital camera set (purchased here) came with an instructional DVD which is basically "Digital Photography for beginners." The DVD is called "Focus Digital SLR Photography in a Snap: Jumpstart Guide." You can purchase it here if you would like. Naturally, I took some notes and screenshots while watching the film and decided to make flashcards to keep in my camera case so I can always have a reminder about ISO, aperture, depth of field, etc. when I need it. Thank God for this crappy matte photo paper I bought from Amazon. I used it to print my flashcards even though it was intended for prints. I didn't like how matte it was. A little bit of gloss would've been better than this cheap crap. Nonetheless, it was perfect for printing my flashcards.

I printed the screenshots I took on one side and then wrote my notes on the other side. There was no order to the notes or what went on the back of what image. Here are a few of the many notes I took (also in no order):
  • SDXC memory cards are for massive Hi-Def pics and vids that will instantly be transferred.
  • A faster read/write speed memory card is needed for shooting bursts.
  • Back up your photos before formatting your memory card to your camera.
  • Fine JPEG is a better quality than Basic.
  • ISO: how the camera interprets a scene once its passed through the lens.
    • ISO sensitivity determines how your camera will react to light.
  • A fast shutter speed is good for action shots (i.e. 1/1000).
  • A slow shutter speed is good for night shooting. Be sure to use a tripod.
  • Aperture is the lens opening. 
    • f/2 = much light is getting in.
    • f/22 = less light is getting in.
  • Only RAW files allow for adjustment of white balance after the photo has been taken.
  • Depth of field is related to aperture and how much of the image will be in focus.
    • f/1.8 = a small portion of the scene will be in focus. This is great for portraits and flowers.
    • f/22 = a large amount will be in focus. This is great for landscapes.
  • Fast shutter speed freezes action shots.
  • Use a tripod and move the camera slowly horizontally to pan and vertically to tilt.
  • Flash
    • Use a pre-flash setting to close a subject's pupils and reduce red-eye.
    • Turn flash completely off for shooting newborns and subject's behind glass.
    • Use rear flash for motion blur effect (i.e. moving lights).
  • Studio lights
    • Key light dictates the position of the other studio lights.
    • Fill light softens shadows and should be positioned mirrored to the key light.
      • For portraits make it 1/2 as bright as the key light.
    • Position the back light 45 degrees from the background in order to illuminate the subject and separate them from the background. It makes a subtle difference.
  • Life hack: Use a bag of beans as a tripod if you need one.
  • Wide angle lenses are good for panoramas.
  • Fish eye lenses are cool for photographing animals.
  • A Polarizer 77mm minimizes reflections and intensifies blues and greens.
Camera modes
  • Fully auto: camera handles everything for those who are intimidated by adjusting settings.
  • P(rogram): sets shutter speed and aperture; user can adjust white balance and ISO; avoid overexposing.
  • AV (aperture priority): use for adjusting depth of field.
  • TV (shutter priority): to stop action of a moving subject.
  • M(anual): adjust shutter speed and aperture.
  • AF-F: full time auto focus for a moving subject.
  • Subject focus: locks focus on a moving subject.
Depth of Field
Fast shutter speed
Low F-stop and Depth of Field
Narrow aperture and high F-stop
Shutter speed and Depth of Field
Shutter speed
Telephoto lenses
White balances
Wide aperture and low F-stop
Slow shutter speed

Artist Spotlight

Joseph Wilfrid Daleus

I know that I haven't been posting for a while. I'm slacking. However, I haven't been motivated to post and I have things going on in my personal life that have distracted me from my blog. I'm feeling a little bit of motivation and productivity today, therefore I wanted to get some posts done. This one is long overdue.

On March 19, 2015 during a week long trip to Miami, FL a group of friends and I stopped by a community called "Little Haiti." We had great food, we went to a music festival, and we toured the art gallery of Joseph Wilfrid Daleus. I was very fortunate to have met him and to converse about visual art. The experience was exhilarating, phenomenal, and inspirational. I was so blown away by his craft, artwork, and expertise. Daleus is so multi-dimensional. He is a painter, but he is also a sculptor and photographer! Amazing, right?

A 20" x 24" print on a canvas retouched with paint by him costs $300. I need to step my game up and start charging more for my work! If you want a painting by hand, he charges $25,000. Yes, you read that correctly. Twenty five thousand dollars. But here's the thing... he's THAT GOOD, he deserves to charge that much. I cannot wait until my craft improves to his level and I can charge those prices. Of course, I'll always be in my own lane... he is still something to aspire to. One of his key pieces of advise was to live a substance/toxic free life. He doesn't use oil to paint. It's toxic (and smelly... and messy). Many artists have developed asthma from oil paint use. Also, he doesn't smoke, drink, or use drugs. That kind of purity and his health is very significant to him.

Daleus has been painting for 55 years. He is a second generation Haitian artist. When I asked how many paintings he does in a span of time, he said that he does 3 paintings a year. Three! I couldn't imagine that. I feel so compelled to have at least one painting done a month or else I'm wasting my talent and not sharing with the universe. However, I can somewhat understand only doing that many paintings a year, because again... that man is talented. True creativity and a work of art takes time to create. I did a charcoal drawing of Frida Kahlo... it took days to finish. I worked at least 4 hours each day on it, too.

One of his techniques that I would like to try out one day is his method of printing a photograph on a canvas and then painting over the photograph. That is so clever and unique. I would definitely need the right photo, though, with great resolution. I don't want to try with a crappy contrasted, highly pixelated photo. It will all come with time, though. I need perfect my craft as a painter before attempting that. Another thing I admire is how he is able to create texture in some of his paintings. I regret not asking him about that. It's like one can touch the painting and feel raised edges, bumps, ridges, etc. So cool. Check out his website to see more of his work.

Picture I took outside the gallery. Daleus is standing at the door.

Jerk chicken, plantains, rice and beans, and fruit champagne from Chef Créole restaurant. So delicious!

09 March 2015

Snow Day (overdue)

My Canon Rebel T3i finally arrived and I decided to test it out this past snow day, February 25th. I have not learned the settings of it yet, how to use it, how to set the ISO, aperture, f-stop, etc. I just went outside, turned it on, and started snapping. I still need to add the software to my computer... for some reason it's not working so I'll try adding it onto the desktop. I also need to watch the DVD that came with my camera that teaches me about how to use my Canon as well as buy the Digital Photography certification program from Groupon. Check out a few of the photos below from my snow day.

21 February 2015

My shop is up & running!

Prints, posters, stickers, canvases, t-shirts! I'm officially selling my art here (among a couple of miscellaneous items). I'm so excited and I cannot wait to develop a following and customer base.

20 February 2015

Creative mental eruption and overload!

For the first time in a long time, I am overwhelmed with excitement and so many ideas that I can't hold them all in. I'm going to keep many of my creative entrepreneurial ventures to myself until I can bring them into fruition--many people do not wish you well plus I don't want to share until it's finalized. However, I will say that once I receive my Canon Rebel T3i this weekend to better photograph my paintings, and once I start working on digital photography, I'm going to have plenty of art to share with you all as well as products which you can buy. I'm going to be selling a lot of wonderful stuff on my store; as of right now, I only have available for purchase some prints of a couple of paintings, prints of my film photography, and my "Blackness is not a weapon or crime" t-shirts. Do not fret, though! Like I said, more work will be featured soon and you'll be able to purchase even more awesome products. It's been a loooong time since I've been this excited and happy re: art. I hope you all continue to support, check my site, check my store, and share what I do with your social networks, family, and friends. Support a Black business woman and Black artist!

17 February 2015

Should I sell prints?

Someone asked me if I was selling my painting of Quvenzhané Wallis‬. I'm too in love with it to sell it, plus I'm not at a place artistically where I would want to part ways with anything that I paint. However, I've seen many artists sell prints of their work and I'm definitely thinking about doing the same as soon as I find a printing service I want to use. Of course, the "gregariousali" watermark will not be on the final product.
Acrylic Paintings

Film Photography

NOT Photography, but still my art

I told you all that I would probably feature my drawings and paintings on here, didn't I? Well, I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Lately, I've been painting a lot and searching for inspiration as well as trying to figure out what my style is. In many of my paintings, I noticed that I kept pulling from a particular style that has always resonated with me and for years now, I forgot from where and I. First, let me show you some of my work and then I'll get into what has been my inspiration.
"Big Poppa"
In an effort to get back into the swing of things re: painting, I did this cartoon creation of the Notorious B.I.G. If my memory serves me correctly, I found a doodle of him on Tumblr, used it as inspiration, did my own recreation, added my own touch, and then went from there. I enjoy art and I enjoy painting, even though I don't think that I'm good at it (painting). However, for this to be the first thing that I painted in years after not doing much 2D artwork and focusing on photography, I was quite proud of the final result. Like I do with all of my art, I viewed painting this as educational. I looked at ways in which I could improve as well as reinforced the message to myself to work more on my patience. Patience as an artist makes you better and I believe it limits opportunities to slack off or not put forth your best.
"If A Tree Falls"
The next thing that I ended up painting, MONTHS after painting Notorious B.I.G. was this cute little picture, I like to call "If A Tree Falls..." Originally, I didn't have the fallen tree across the river, but I wanted to disturb the theme of repetitive vertical trees. I've only painted a perspective/horizon type picture once and that was months ago in college (pictured below). So really, I only have two types of these under my belt and I look forward to working on more and improving.

February--Putting in Work
For Valentine's Day, I painted the above picture for my mother. She loves angels and cherubs, plus she didn't want me to buy her anything, because "She already has anything she could ever want." So, she wanted me to create something from the heart, like I used to. Therefore, I painted her a black Cherub with a quote about angels and being loved. I noticed with this painting, I stuck to a theme that is comfortable and familiar to me. A theme that I enjoy, not painting faces, painting black people, and Afros (stick with me, I'm gonna explain why I love this).

I cannot remember the exact day I found the inspirational image for this painting, but the day after Valentine's Day, I painted it. It is my own recreation of a photo of actress, Quvenzhané Wallis.
I was captivated with the photo of her and immediately said "I HAVE TO PAINT THIS!" That rarely happens, even though I'm OFTEN seeking means of inspiration and motivation to paint, because my creativity seems to be depleted, lately. I enjoyed painting this the most. Particularly, because when it came to the shirt, I had no limitations, I wasn't trying to be perfect; the final result was fantastic. Reminds me of something Vincent Van Gogh would paint re: the shirt, now that I think about it. I need more practice painting hair and afros, because I don't want to always rely on a Sharpie, however, it's working for now.
 "With Liberty & Justice for All?"
Also, that same day, because I was on a roll and feeling motivated to be in my artistic space, I painted this picture symbolizing the lack of liberty and justice Black people receive in this country. I drew from many different artists and inspirations as far as the picture, especially because I've often seen artists paint the red in the flag as blood. I've always wanted to try something like that and when you see it so often from different artists and you feel connected to what that imagery means, you must take it as a sign to create the work. Trayvon Martin is the inspiration for the hooded young man, obviously, but he symbolizes so many others. Of course, I had to paint the hands up! The more I look at the way I painted he hoodie, the happier I get because I'm proud of how it came out, especially because I have no experience doing something like that. I'm happy how the stars came out, too, because I was dreading painting them. I wasn't sure if I would include them and while doing them, I hated how they looked.

So, I guess it's time to share why I'm so fascinated with faceless Black people and natural hair. I'd completely forgotten about this painting and the artist who inspired it until recently when I asked myself why my painting style is the way that it is.
In high school, for our ceiling tile project, I painted two tiles that combined into one picture--a recreation of a painting by Lashonda Scott Robinson that I adored. It was a painting of her son.
Vincent Van Gogh was my favorite painter until I discovered Robinson. I was ecstatic to see the beautiful works of another female Black painter. I immediately fell in love with her paintings and her style, because it was what I liked to paint. It was what I imaged my style to be once I improved as a painter. Featureless faces resonated with me, because I feel faces ares distracting from everything else going on (+ I hate painting them, but that may change with more practice/technique work). I prefer to leave it to the viewer to imagine the emotions going on in the painting and to examine the surroundings instead of focusing on a face. Plus, I personally feel there's something captivating and beautiful about it.
Robinson's paintings appeal to me, because Black is beautiful and I love my people. There needs to be more of us in media, music, and art. We should represent ourselves; show the beauty in ourselves. We are art. I want Black people to be in my art.
You can learn more about her and her work here [x] [x]. I couldn't believe after all of these years I'd forgotten about her/her name, making it hard for me to find other examples of her work, but I'd also went years without painting and when I did start painting again, it was based on a themed class assignment with a direction rather than what I wanted. Anyway, my favorite paintings by her are featured below.
Beautiful isn't it?

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