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.
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.
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