Aretha Franklin was one of the first singers I listened to on repreat. My mom gave me a Greatest Hits album, where I would listen to it on repeat while I cried myself to sleep. Aretha Franklin's voice gave me strength, like so many other women, to demand respect even when we are told we are not supposed to ask for it.
Her life continued to be a moment of survival, continuing to record music until retiring a year before her death. I will forever be grateful for her message because it kept me going as a kid to survive even the worst in life.
What I found most interesting about this piece was researching the background of Bantu knots after I finished the design. While I am a partial minority being a woman, I try very hard to represent the different kinds of cultural influences I use in my pieces. Recently bantu knots were featured in fashion week but only was featured using an all white modeling cast. As I learned about the background of the historical significance of hair in African culture it is not only understandable but an outrage that cultural iconography was told to be forgotten because of its unique styles. Now people are using it without acknowledging this suffocation at all. African women for centuries were told what to do with their hair by cultures that did not understand how much hair represented community and status in African tribal traditions. I hope that as you follow me we all learn not only to appreciate historical cultural differences, but embrace them. These traditions are what make us unique and beautiful.
While I was looking through images on the Flickr Commons for images that would soothe my anxiety, I came across this vintage restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. What I love about this image is it's reflection on the past through the architecture. It reminds me of old Hollywood, a classic time where beauty was prized above all else.
Earthy tones and greens have been so soothing for me recently, so I decided to start painting this yesterday. What I loved painting the most was the cactus! I love the very contoured angles of cacti because it yet again reminds me of old Hollywood perfection.
This painting was done on 140 lb. paper. I've heard recently how important the paper quality is on a painting. It's interesting to me because I'd always loved the plastic sheen that seemed to come from painting on sketch paper. However, with the 140 lb. paper I was able to layer my colors more easily and add more depth to the image, something almost impossible on thin paper.
So in conclusion, I love plants and heavy paper! Go check out my new painting on my print shop! Link below.