My portraits and figurative works take a critical view of social, political and cultural issues as seen from the African-American point of view of everyday life during the first one hundred years of emancipation (1865-1965). In my work, I unveil the news, propaganda, stories, experiences and beliefs of these periods through the faces of those depicted in my artwork. My work engages subjects as diverse as politics, war, music, sports, relationships and family. Each project often consists of multiple works, ranging in a mix of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During my constant research, new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work.
My process begin with hours of research looking at photos, advertisements, graphic works and reading news stories during a particular period. During this research, I am focusing on creating an image that relates to the meaning that properly depicts the era of choice. Sources of my research have been libraries, museums, and old photo albums from estate sales, antique shops and garage sales. My work is primarily depicted in watercolor on a natural rag paper using the wet-on-wet technique. I also cause a sort of patina on the work by distressing the paper so that the artwork may look as old and worn as the subject matter.
As time passes and history is made, it is exciting to try and capture a special moment of time in a painting. It might be inspired by an earth-shaking event or just an ordinary daily experience. More often it comes as a result of looking for something meaningful to say about life. I have a passion for my cultural history, and a ongoing desire to master the never-ending possibilities that are inherent in making art. I hope to express a mood, teach something new, or tell a story that will grab and hold your attention and make you want to see more.