Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Additional Journey

Anyone who knows me knows that I am going through several transitions in life at the of them my hair. It's not necessarily been a hard challenge or transition, but not an easy one either. I thought for years (and I do mean years) about going natural (stop using relaxers). Well, I finally took the plunge about 4 months ago. Although I have not gotten a relaxer in 4 months, I am a bit skeptical about cutting off the portion of my hair that is still relaxed. Why?

* I've never had really short hair (not sure that I would look right)
* It's taken a long time for it to get to the length it is (lower-back)
* Social acceptance
* Deep down (I don't want to believe this really), what if the fellas don't like it.

Okay, so there is the list (somewhat partial). However, I think that the main reason is social acceptance. At the young age of 7 my family moved from Philadelphia to the suburbs of South Jersey. One being extremely predominately black and the other extremely predominately white. South Jersey was so much so that I was the only black student in my classes until I reached the 7th grade, and out of a graduating high school class of 700, there were at the most about 45 blacks (including those that were mixed, latino and other). Let's do the math...that is less than one percent. On one end I was getting comments like, "Why do you always wear your hair in braids.", "Your hair is so thick and it doesn't lay straight." Those were just the hair comments. Nevermind the other comments like, "Oh my don't shave your legs?" Now, I don't know about women in other areas, but in Philly, the women I knew (black women) were oh natural. I even knew/know men that think that hairy legs are sexy, but perhaps that is a Philly thing (or just some of the people I knew/know thing). Anyhow, on the other end (Philly side) I would get, "You talk like a white girl.", "You act like a white girl."... whatever those statements are supposed to mean. I got comments like that for years and still do for the most part; although now it is just stated and then overlooked. I have come into my own (with the "You sound/act white) statements and know how to handle them now.

But, I am not so sure about the hair. I am choosing to go natural becuase natural is the way that God made me, and the curls (as tight as they are) are quite adorable. I don't all will be on the journey with me, hearing me rant about it every now and again. For now, I have come to the conclusion that I will transition until I am moved to cut off the relaxed portion.

(pre-natural days)

(2 months natural)
(4 month ponytail)

Pearls of Wisdom:
Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him. -Cicero

Who's character traits are you trying on besides your own?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Writing is on the Canvas

I almost thought that I wasn't going to blog tonight. However, I do want to keep you all updated on my daily progress...especially when it is visible progress.

I didn't do any sewing today. I decided to trade my sore fingers in for a sore right hand. In actuality, it wasn't too sore. It [my hand] is conditioned and conditioned well, since I do so much writing. I actually make it a practice of carrying my journal with me at all times. As Cocoa (a friend and fellow blogger) and I talked about earlier, you never know when inspiration will hit. So one must be ready at all times.

Pearls of Wisdom:
Our desires not only determine the outcome of our life, but also reveal the motivation and priorities of our life.
What are your desires, and do you have the proper motivation behind those things you desire?

Be blessed!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Art Is...

Work is as you all know, these buttons are ruling my art world at the moment. I have included a picture of what the back looks like thus far. I have a new found respect for those in third world countries that do similar work. They slave to make our clothes, get paid pennies, and Americans turn around and sell it for 400 or more percent markup. Hey, that is the American dream though right!

Anyhow, I ran across this statement in this book that I read a minute ago. It really made so much sense to me. It verbalized exactly what I was feeling.

“The artist had a vision, something she needed to bring to life on canvas. Artists don’t know their work will be received or if people will get it. They just paint. Some people will receive the message the way the artists envisioned. Others will misinterpret it. But it’s not really a misinterpretation if they are bringing to their viewing of the painting their own experiences, then filtering that experience through the images on canvas until the piece has personal relevance.” -Felicia Mason

Today's Pearls of Wisdom:
Anything worth having is worth working for!

Are you willing to work for the things that are worth having, or are you wanting to have it served to you on a silver platter?

Be blessed!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Buttons!

The first painting in the buttons series is well on its way to being done. My fingers are so very sore as I still have yet to sew all of the massive amount of buttons on the 1st part of the series. I am in the midst of preparing 2 more canvases for the series and every time I blink another idea of one to add pops up. It's amazing...never have I been so on fire about the things that I am creating and I do indeed thank JESUS!

I ended up taking out the camera yesterday and shooting the buttons that you see (color scheme for the next piece). I still have a lot of learning to do with that camera...I really do. The more I shoot, the more I will learn. As a matter of fact, I have been asked to do a shoot for a family function of a friend in the fall. I will be well prepared for the event.

So, today as I sat in church, there was some wonderful words of wisdom spewed from the mouth of the servant of God. The topic was Exchanging a Title for a Towel. It was thought provoking and made me think of my personal walk and if I was indeed doing the things that I needed to do for God with the right heart. Do I have a performance driven faith? Am I a servant unto God that works and expects Him to do because I am faithful in duty unto Him? Do I understand that God has a will that will always supersedes my level of faith?

All of the questions made me think of another segment to add as I close out my blogs. A little something to get you all thinking. This will be the first one. I pray you all enjoy!

Pearls of Wisdom:
Whomever you love or fall in love with will have a stench indeed. If someone is going to love you, they have to put up with your stench. True love says, "I am going to love you in spite of your stench".

Are you dealing with someones stench today? If so, take time to appreciate each others funk. Remember, what is funky to one man, smells oh so rosy to another!

Be blessed!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

As I sat at Barnes and Noble this afternoon coincidentially reading the Biblical story of Jacob & Esau, I noticed something very interesting unfolding between two brothers. Brothers as in, we are both black, brothers. Now, I don't have siblings, but I do have some cousins and a couple of close friends that I consider to be siblings..if you are talking biological. Speaking of those that are not biological and not of the same blood, proves to be much of the same, if you ask me. I mean, whether black, white, yellow, blue, purple, pink, green or other, we all come from the same source (that is if you believe in Adam and Eve).

Anyhow, on with the story about the men in the café. I proved to be smack dab in the middle and actually the catalyst for their conversation. The gentleman on my right; looking like he could be a mix between middle eastern and black (later found out that he was Carribean), well dressed and fresh off the phone starts conversation with me via a sigh. He talks about politics, which at the time I had no interest in talking about. I'm not a politics buff and not really quite sure if I can hold my own in a conversation about it...if I had to be frank. I know the issues and what I feel about them and I will choose the candidate that I feel addresses those issues to my liking. Okay, that was a sidebar...back to the story. The Carribean gentleman (whose name is Michael) says that he thinks that people like Barrack so much because he is somewhat conservative, and so forth and so on. I didn't really hear all that he was saying. I guess since I wasn't talkative enough and the gentleman on my left gave a quirky look, he moved on to pull Brian into a conversation (the gentleman to my left). Brian had dreds (nice ones, by the way), some slacks and brown dress shoes. The conversation went something like this:

M: What? gave a funny face. You don't believe that Barack is rather conservative?
B: I support Barack all the way. I think that the words conservative and liberal take on different meanings these days. I heard you say that you really just started to become interested in politics with this race, but I know quite a bit about politics because it is of interest to me.
M: Well, yes I have become interested in this campaign, but my father passed away about 8 years ago and he was elected in an office.
B: It's not about being conservative or liberal. People like Barack because he speaks truth.
M: Hillary doesn't seem sincere to me. That is why I wouldn't vote for her.
B: Well, that is why this is a democratic society.
M: To tell you the truth, if Barack wins [primaries], Bloomberg would be in the game and give him a run for his money.
B: I don't know much about Bloomberg. I am from Chicago.
M: I have family that is from Chicago. I am actually in Philly for business. I have people all around though.

(I started to try and get involved with what I was doing at this point, so things get a little foggy from here, but it continues)

B: Have you been out of the country? If so, I think that you would feel a little differently about politics. I have been to Africa and things are run quite differently there [politics wise].
M: Yes...I am actually from the Carribean. My father is Carribean and my mother is Creole. So, I am a mix of things.
B: I have been there in 2003 and I was actually supposed to go this weekend, but plans fell through (I laughed at this statement)
M: It was good talking to you. A lot of times brothers are afraid to talk to each other...more than we are afraid to talk to others. We have to learn to want to learn about each other.
B: You are absolutely right. A lot of us are intimidated and insecure when it comes to holding conversations with each other.

(Again I laughed. It seemed as if M was talking about me, since I didn't bother to engage in conversation)

The whole conversation was hilarious to me. Moral of the we always feel like we have to one up each other? We are all blessed to be able to do things. My gift may not be yours and vice versa, but if we search long and hard within, it's waiting to be found. Oh if we all just stuck to the gifts that we knew God gifted us with; what a wonderful (or better) world it may be.

I hardly doubt that Michael or Brian will ever read this blog. Their conversation on the surface was great, but laden with undertones of rivalry. However, my thanks and appreciation goes to them. They have definitely supplied me with inspiration for new work.

Be blessed!

Monday, February 18, 2008

People Watching

Have you ever intensely wondered about someone? Not someone that you knew, but someone that you have just seen and not have had the pleasure or displeasure of knowing. What is their name? Where are they from? What are their beliefs? What is their occupation? It may even go as far as wondering where they are on their way to. You may even make up a story as to where they have been and where they are going. You put yourself in their shoes.

I never thought that so much of my inspiration would come from people watching. It's more than just who the person is or what they are doing at a particular time. It is how they are doing what they are doing that inspires me....inspires me to sketch, paint, draw, sing, write, dance...create period. So, I will continue to people watch. Notice I said people watch, and not stalk. May the activity continue to bring wonderful thoughts and actions that ignite creativity.

Be blessed!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's Been a While's been a while, but it has not been a futile little while. I have actually been working my tail off with this new button series that I have started. I foolishly thought that it would be fairly easy to stich over 1,000 buttons on a canvas. While I stich I think, "Perhaps I won't stich them all." However, I have made my mind up that I will stich each and every button, with sore fingers and all.

Photography: Haven't shot in a minute, but intend to do so in the next couple of days. The last couple times I shot it was at church. I am really interested in the movement of people when they praise and worship GOD. So, more on that to come.

Knitting/Crocheting: Just bought a pair of 25mm knitting sticks. One is supposed to be able to knit an item really quickly. I will let you know how quickly it can be done. I ran into a friend on Friday that mentioned them. She is a fellow artist.

Okay, time for me to sew more buttons on the canvas before it's time for me to turn in. Until next time...

Be blessed!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Artist's Statement

Good Morning! I hardly ever blog in the morning, but today I am feeling why not. I have been working on my artist statement, which is what I can do at the moment. I have not been able to work on too much seeing I have been getting up at 4:30am for work and getting home after 9pm due to church obligations. I have been trying to sneak in all the beauty sleep I can..often times unsuccessful. I count it all joy though. My vehicle will be up and running today. Praise the LORD! This will free up a lot of my time to do some other things...mainly my work. I've got to get on the ball yall. I have some shows to enter this year and I won't let things come between that. Some pics of photography are on the way. Stay tuned...

Be blessed!