Artist Statement: Paintings

Young people inspire me! 

Their energy, curiosity, imagination, playfulness, innocence, and spirit attract my attention. When I think about portraiture and its long history around the world of capturing a person’s power, prestige, glamour, rank, honor, enlightenment, and prominence, my thoughts quickly stream to Psalm 127 which reminds me of a child’s prominence: calling children rewards from the Lord, arrows in a skilled warrior’s hand.

Whether I use acrylic paint, watercolor, or printmaking I endeavor to capture these traits in large colorful portraits. In many of my paintings, they are in an expressive pose, surrounded by an imaginary place, and holding an object connected to biblical teachings. I am moved to show young children of color spiritually protected and capable of carrying the armor of God. So I depict them interacting with a sword, shield, bow/arrow, pearl, or passage of scripture. During this time of racial injustice and civil unrest, it is especially important that I create artwork that is vibrant, piercing and imaginative, to inspire others to continue dreaming.

Desiring to reveal the glory and wonder of God’s gifts to our world, I gravitate towards using luminous colors and expressive movement. My tools are often untraditional, resulting in the desired effect of texture. My acrylic paintings reveal an interest in Baroque style light source (chiaroscuro) and layered brushstrokes in the background often gravitate towards the style of Expressionism. In both mediums I subtly put text into the composition to capitalize on faith and dreams. Artists that have inspired my current work are Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Emma Amos, and Kerry James Marshall.