Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It is my goal to feature amazing black girl artists (as I like to call them), from time to time. I find that we are thoroughly under represented in the art world, and that we have to work too hard to get the recognition that we deserve.

I found this artist named, Toyin Odutola, randomly. She's Nigerian like my home girl, who just happens to share the same name. Her work is phenomenal and her drawings are exotic and powerful. There are so many adjectives that I could use to describe the depth of her drawings, but one has to see them and make their own judgments. It's only fair that each person be allowed to interpret the art in their own way.

Her work is very different from mine. She uses pen and ink and the occasional graphite or charcoal, but more that anything, it's her creative style that is beautiful and inspiring. Check out more of her work here.


Animorphose I

Ambivalent Persona

Hottentot: Dancer's Transformation

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I thought that I would share some of my older works. We all have to start from somewhere and growth only happens when you work towards it and are open to it.
I did this drawing when I was 14. I was just learning how to draw faces.

On my artistic journey, I've tried many things. A lot of the ideas that I had really sucked and my painting skills were really bad! I kept on though, because no one could tell me that I wasn't going to be an artist.

I really thought that I was doing something here! This was supposed to be a deep painting! It was in oil too. I don't like oil any longer, it's just not my thing. lol!

An early drawing called Stork Man. 

Aaah, my attempts at painting.

It started getting a little better.

The piece above is in Vanderbilt University's permanent collection.

Eventually, I began to evolve and growth came. It takes time and lots of failure sometimes, but if you believe it you can achieve it! Corny, but true! :)

The Hottentot Venus  

I'm still growing. I'll never stop. I continue to challenge myself and learn from others. I'm self taught and I'm a woman and I'm black, but above all I am an artist and I have a voice.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

I just found this article while doing a random search. It was written by Marlon H. Banks, an African American artist living in Madison, WI. He's also a former fellow at the Studio Museum in Harlem. (I couldn't find any of his work.) I thought that he discussed the dilemma of [not] fitting into the art world as a black artist, without having to conform or alter your work, very well. I wanted to be sure to share this because I truly understand what he's going through. It is a constant battle, especially since my work is so BLACK. Galleries look past me, not just because they may think that my work is mediocre, but because my strong, poignant images of black people may be too much for some to look at. Anyhow, please view the article below.

Not in my backyard
Finding a gallery to work with can be hard for any artist, and it's even more difficult when the artist and his work are said to be "too black." If the artist takes a "centrist" approach, using, for example, abstraction or irony in his or her work, the likelihood of gallery representation seems to increase. Such maneuvers, however, threaten the work of African-American artists with dilution or "gentrification." This is why I insist, in my representational images, on being as black as I am.

Today, the image of black folk in the fine arts often appears owned and maintained by curators, university art departments, and commercial galleries. The same beneficiaries of white privilege create and maintain parameters to define the relative purity of art made by black people. Often, art said to be "too black" has been pushed by the artist to a level of realism that can make whites uncomfortable. Ironically, these parameters are maintained by men who get no darker than a Wisconsin summer tan; they also believe there's no market for art that's too black and too representational.

Of all types of art made by African Americans, it can seem that folk, outsider, and what some refer to as primitive receive the widest exposure. But it's also true that African Americans are making inroads in other ways. Some artists achieve greater involvement in the larger (white) art world by focusing on abstraction. More and more, artists are intentionally using negative stereotypes to make complicated points about black history and culture (this has been called "hyper-black" or "post-black"). These artists are often able to combine humor and irony with formal innovation, sometimes with sublime results. Notwithstanding the word "primitive," each strategy above is important. Each breaks down boundaries in its own way.

Still, I cannot describe my own work in terms of self-deprecating humor or irony. Nor do I subscribe to the idea of eliminating evidence of ethnicity in exchange for a strict diet of abstraction. However, I am comfortable with the Studio Museum in Harlem's description of my work as "Black Romantic." For me, this show was not about traditional romanticism but more about a group of artists who are willing to address the broad span or full palette of African-American culture, in terms of both audience and subject matter.

Now, I would like to see more interest in and support for our art in my own backyard. Why should we have to travel elsewhere to find sustained interest in our work (a question asked by many of the thirty "Black Romantics")? For those of us who have already come from other places throughout the country, there is no "someplace else." Support and visibility should be possible in the places we call home, without expectations on anyone's part that we are folk, primitive, or outsider artists.

--Marlon H. Banks, Madison, WI

COPYRIGHT 2004 Artforum International Magazine, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group


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Monday, December 14, 2009

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm such a non-blogger, but I'm doing my best to keep up. I'm often too busy painting, mothering, paying bills, loving my man and doing a myriad of other things to keep up with this blogging thing. I really need to figure out how to get more followers. Wow! I have no idea how to do this thing! :)

Anyhow, I was reading an article today that I found pretty interesting, just thought that I'd share. It simply reiterates some of the things that I say all of the time. They just say it better. lol! Read at your leisure. Follow the link to read it at its source.

To Act Like the Rich, Be Frugal

If you want to be rich, you need to stop acting like you have money in the bank and start living beneath your means. That's the message in the most recent book from Thomas J. Stanley, author of "The Millionaire Mind" and the "The Millionaire Next Door."
Bankrate asked Stanley to explain what's fueling America's hyper-consumptive ways and unquenchable thirst for top-shelf brand vodka -- among other indulgences.

Q: In your book "Stop Acting Rich...and Start Living like a Real Millionaire," you say that rich people don't necessarily act the way that the rest of us might think they do. In fact, millionaires are more likely to be extremely frugal. Why is that?

A: There are many factors that explain frugality among the rich.
First, their parents tended to be not only frugal, but well-disciplined. Most millionaires today came from middle-class backgrounds. Their parents were not wealthy, but somewhat comfortable. Millionaires tell me that they never felt embarrassed by where they lived or the type of home they had. To a considerable degree, it is the uniquely American upward socioeconomic mobility that fuels much of the hyper-consuming engine of the market for luxury goods, prestige products, upscale brands, expensive homes and so on.
Beyond income, one's vocation has much to do with accumulating wealth. Educators, engineers, business owners and retail store managers have a tendency to live below their means and to be quite efficient in transforming their income into wealth.
It is the home/neighborhood environment that most explains one's ability to accumulate wealth. It may be useful for people to understand that there are 1,138,070 millionaire households living in homes valued under $300,000. This is far more than the 403,211 who live in homes valued at $1 million or more.
Q: You describe different levels of wealth in the book. There are the glittering rich, the income (statement) affluent and the balance sheet affluent.

A: The glittering rich make up a small fraction of 1 percent of the household population. They have a minimum annual household income of seven figures and a net worth of eight figures and more. They are extremely wealthy people, and they spend accordingly.
But, as I said in "Stop Acting Rich," no matter what they spend their money on, it is just a fraction of their overall net worth. In other words, even the glittering rich spend below their means. There are no more than 80,000 glittering rich households in a nation of more than 115,000,000 households.
The income statement affluent are those with high incomes and relatively low levels of net worth. They are not very productive in transforming their incomes into wealth. Many of the people in this category are highly compensated physicians, attorneys and executives. Many are driven to hyper-consume by their need to display high social status.
Farmers are found in high concentrations among the segment I refer to as balance sheet affluent. The balance sheet affluent are highly productive at transforming their income into wealth.
Among the most productive of this group are educators, engineers, owners of small businesses, and as mentioned, farmers.

Q: Who is buying most of the top-shelf brand vodkas, extravagant cars and homes and why?
A: The question of "who" really has two answers.
Status products and homes are more likely purchased by people who have higher incomes. Look at three socioeconomic measures: net worth or wealth, household income and the market value of a home. Which of these variables is best at predicting consumption of the items mentioned? The value of a home ranks first, income ranks second and wealth ranks third.
Again, while it is true that the people at the upper level of these measures have a higher propensity to consume prestige products, it is not necessarily the most significant market.

For example, most prestige makes of cars -- 86 percent -- are driven by nonmillionaires. Yes, people with very high incomes, high levels of wealth are more likely to drive status automobiles. But in sheer numbers, the largest consumer segment for pricey cars, vodkas and homes is not the millionaire population, it is the aspirationals. These are people who think they are acting rich via their adoption of prestige brands, but in most cases they are only acting like each other.
Why do these people act this way? In large part, they are trying to imitate economically successful people. They take their cues from Hollywood and the advertising industry. The problem is that most aspirationals know few, if any, really wealthy to emulate.

Would they still continue to drive prestige makes of cars if they knew that the No. 1 make of automobile among millionaires is the Toyota? Along these lines, would they still crave living in a $1 million home when they find out that nearly three times more millionaires live in homes valued at under $300,000 than live in those valued at $1 million or more?

Q: Should financial freedom be everyone's ultimate goal, and where does that leave the people whose life goals are simply to have some of the trappings of wealth, such as the nice house in the tony suburb and a European sports car?

A: America is often referred to as the land of the free. But most people in this country are not really free. They are tied to debt and a treadmill existence in terms of earning a living.
At this moment, our federal government has promised future social benefits in excess of $50 trillion. That figure is approximately the same amount of the total personal wealth held by Americans.
In the future, it is very likely that the government will not be able to provide the promised social benefits to our seniors. The typical household in the United States has a net worth of just over $90,000. That is about the same annual cost of a decent quality nursing home.

Also, if home equity and equity in motor vehicles is netted out of the $90,000, then the typical household's net worth drops down to about $30,000. That is only about 60 percent of the typical household's annual income. Therefore, it should be everyone's goal to provide for their economic future by being fiscally responsible.

Otherwise, what will happen when millions of seniors are no longer able to work and have little or no wealth accumulated? Many of them will become completely dependent upon their adult children or become destitute. The money that they spent on the trappings of wealth yesterday (the house in a tony suburb or a European sports car) will not pay for tomorrow's food, clothing and shelter (possibly a nursing home).

Q: How do you recommend that people become prosperous if they would prefer to get off the consumer treadmill?

A: The simplest way is to live below one's means.
The typical household should be able to put away 5 percent of their annual income while they are in their 30s, 10 percent when they are in their 40s, and 20 percent when they are in their 50s.
This is also related to satisfaction with life overall. There is a highly significant correlation between satisfaction in life and living in a home and neighborhood which are easily affordable.
What is a good rule if you are determined to become wealthy?
The market value of the home you purchase should be less than three times your household's total annual realized income. Also, if you are not yet wealthy, but want to be someday, never purchase a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household's annual realized income.
Q: Do you have a sense that American consumer values are shifting from aspirational luxury purchases that seemed to be heavily marketed in the early 2000's asset bubble days to more frugal ones?
A: No, I don't think that the values are shifting.
The only reason that people aren't spending as much as they did prior to the current economic meltdown is that they don't have as much money to spend right now. We are a nation of hyper-consumers. We encourage our children to major in consumption and minor in frugality!
The smartest people in the world are in the marketing and advertising industries in this country. How else can you explain that 300 different brands of vodka coexist in our domestic market? In 2009, about 2.3 million American seniors will pass away. What did they do with the more than $2 trillion in income that they earned in their lifetimes?
I estimate that only 2.3 percent will leave behind a gross estate (all assets included) of $1 million or more. What did the other 97.7 percent of the decedents do with all of their income? If they did not save their income, invest it or allocate it to things that appreciate (LIKE FINE ART), where did the money go?
Beyond the basic necessities, an awful lot of it was spent on things, many things that now reside in landfills and thrift shops. We are and will continue to be a culture of hyper-consumption.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I enjoy photography tremendously. It's one of my many creative loves. I started shooting at around aged 9 when my mother began taking a class at her university. I continued throughout high school, but by the time I reached my adult years; I had to put it on the back burner--well, not really. I didn't have the proper camera, but I still shot hundreds and hundreds of pictures of everything from rocks to toes. I revisited photography again as I grew creatively. It's a part of me that I can't and won't separate from. I'm sharing some new images that I'm working on. These images deal with societal travesties. Enjoy, if you will.

 Groceries & Deli, Archival Print-Museo Silver Rag 

Empty, Archival Print-Museo Silver Rag

Sylvan Rd., Archival Print-Museo Silver Rag

Humanity's Curse, Archival Print-Hahnemuhle 
Photo Rag


Urban Woes, Archival Print-Museo Silver Rag

Lawton, Archival Print-Museo Silver Rag

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Monday, December 7, 2009

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

A new free site for me to roll around in! See it here!

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The Soul Within, 12x12 Mixed Media on Wood

The Path, 12x12 Mixed Media on Wood

...and her name was..., 12x12 Mixed Media on Wood

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

"There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect."
~ Nikki Giovanni

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Please contact me via email for details on the work. Thanks.

of royal lineage 48x24 acrylic & mixed media on canvas

One 36x24 acrylic & mixed media on canvas

transformation of the enlightened 40x30 acrylic on canvas

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The wood pieces are all a part of a new series called No Man Can Degrade. It comes from a quote by Frederick Douglass that says, The soul that is within, no man can degrade. I began the series sometime ago, when I received a grant from the Puffin Foundation. I used a different name for the series at the time, but the premise is still the same.

The pieces are inspired by social, spiritual and philosophical issues. They stem from my passion for giving everyone their just due, for allowing each man or woman to have an opportunity to give their take and receive respect in return. Often time the downtrodden, the elderly and the sick are overlooked because of their demise, but I truly feel that their voices need to be heard, and that their stories need to be told.

These works are created using my own original photography. I also use acrylic paint, wood and other objects to bring the them to life. My goal, through these works, is to bring a voice to the unheard and allow the invisible to be seen. This will be an ongoing series so please keep an eye out for all that there is to come.

Please contact me via email for more details on the work.

12x12 mixed media on wood

24x24 mixed media on wood

7x24 mixed media on wood

24x24 mixed media on wood

12x12 mixed media on wood

12x12 mixed media on wood

12x12 mixed media on wood

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Recently, I had the pleasure of going to support a friend of mine at her exhibition. I enjoy Nicole's work because it's raw and passionate, yet peaceful. Her recent works feature large wood sculptures, that are reminiscent of trees and plants. Her works seem to connect with, and incorporate elements of earthly fantasies. The muted colors make the works very easy to view, even though some of her complex artistic techniques might leave viewers anxious to know how it was executed. My favorites are her ink drawings; I love the details and intricacy in those works. I also really love her batiks because the colours are so vibrant and the images so profound. I'm glad to know Nicole and glad that she is consistently creating. You can find more about her and her work here.

I have always been a daydreamer. I think that's where a lot of my pieces are born. The mixing of -mixing the fantasy with the real (world). My works really look to bring out the hidden surprises of those two worlds. Being fortunate enough to find interesting shapes, colors and beauty in almost anything. I can look at an old/rotting tree and dead flowers and find its beauty and that is what I want to incorporate in my artwork. - Nicole Pritchett

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