Synesthesia is Back – at St Mark’s Coffeehouse

The art of Synesthesia is back! For those of you who missed it the first time, Synesthesia is a series of paintings of celebrity musicians by artist Adri Norris. Each piece will have you grooving to the music in your head as you recall songs by some of your favorite artists.
 
The artist will be in the house, and all paintings are for sale. If the thought of shelling out a wad of cash for an original makes you nervous, she will be selling prints and posters as well. What is not in stock can be pre-ordered on site.
Posted on

Battling Unconscious Biases with Art

I may have mentioned this before but I love listening to podcasts. My list seems to grow every month as more, interesting series come to my attention. I stared listening to Radio Lab a few years ago and it was like my gateway drug. Podcasts allow me to insert information into my brain while I am working and inspire me to apply new concepts to my art.

It was through podcasts that I learned of some of the women I painted or my Women Behaving Badly series. I heard their stories, learned of their deeds and asked myself, why have I never heard of these women before? So, I set myself to the task of using my art to teach others. I felt as though I had finally found my purpose.

Listening to Hidden Brian today, I heard an episode which added to my motivation. The topic of the episode was unconscious bias as it relates to women, particularly women in leadership roles. Women who have the “masculine” traits necessary to be seen as good leaders are often considered overbearing and unlikable. When women display the expected “feminine” traits of being caring and compassionate, they are assumed to be weak and incompetent. The podcast calls this the “double bind”. It is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

The end of the podcast suggests that if we are to get women out of this double bind situation, we need to change society’s perception of women. I have chosen to showcase women in history as my way of changing that perception. I highlight women leaders, inventors and healers of nations. Not only do they inspire me, our society needs to see them as contributors to who we are. We need to let go of our unconscious biases and see value in the feminine.

Check out this episode of Hidden Brain to learn more. And go to my Women Behaving Badly blog to learn more about the series.

Boulder Creative Collective’s Holiday Jubilee

If you live in the Boulder area and you are looking for some unique gifts for your loved ones:

Come check out the BOULDER CREATIVE COLLECTIVE‘s Holiday Jubilee!  Experience some freakin’ rad local artists, apparel brands + more in their awesome warehouse space in East Boulder!  Coffee + cocktails will be available for purchase.

RSVP on FB

Afro Triangle will be selling original drawings and paintings, fine art prints, portrait commissions and more. I’ll see you on Saturday!

Women Behaving Badly – Authors Panel

Let’s Talk Writing

In keeping with the theme of Women Behaving Badly, I want to take some time to showcase the women in our community who are making a difference right now. This week, we are showcasing women who use the written word to speak their truth.  These women are going to talk about who they are, what they do, and why they do it.

Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco – Let’s Get Stoned – 21-Days-on-Your-Path-to-Joy
Cassi Clark – Breastfeeding Is a Bitch, But We Lovingly Do it Anyway – www.breastfeedingisabitch.com
Jennifer Kincheloe – The Secret Life of Anna Blanc – Tattered Cover, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble

Check back in for more information about these talented ladies. And if you haven’t seen the show, it will be up until the end of September, so come early and look around.

Posted on

It’s Show Time!

Tonight’s the night! I know you’ve been following the progress of this show since April. Now come check out the full exhibit of Women Behaving Badly. I’ll be at Coffee at The Point (710 26th ave) from 7pm to 10pm, or until they kick us out, whichever happens first.

There’s going to be live music, spoken word and a question and answer period about the art itself.

8pm – Marthe Ndongala – Spoken Word

8:20 – Zainab – Live music and vocals

8:40 – Pardees Goshtasb – Live music and hip hop

9:10 – Adri Norris – Q&A

Follow the link below for the map and more details.

Posted on

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Who is she?

Rigoberta Menchu Tum is a K’iche’ political activist, an indigenous Guatemalan woman who promotes indigenous rights and fights for the rights of women in her country. After losing most of her family to the Guatemalan civil war, which lasted form 1960 to 1996, Menchu worked tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of that war to justice.

What did she do?

In 1982, she dictated the book “My Name is Rigoberta Menchu and this is how my Conscience was Born”, winning international acclaim and calling attention to the ongoing conflict in Guatemala, as well as the ill treatment of its mostly Mayan people. Menchu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for “her work in social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.” She created the Rigoberta Mentu Tum Foundation, which helped indigenous Guatemalans in exile return home.

Why does that matter?

Rigoberta Menchu Tum gave a voice to the indigenous people of her country and paved the way for justice to be served. There is still a long way to go before the country is completely healed, but many people are dedicated to the task.

You may be thinking to yourself, “those look like shell casings….” Yes, those are shell casings that I glued to the piece to enhance the violence of the time. 30 years is a LONG time for a civil war.

Posted on

Katherine Johnson

I’ve been so busy getting ready for this show, I’ve forgotten to post my last few paintings. Time to rectify that little oversight.

This painting is of Katherine Johnson.

Who is she?

Katherine Johnson was a computer for NASA, back when it was a job description, not a machine. She and a number of other Black women answered the call when NASA was looking for women to work in their fledgling space program.

What did she do?

One of the West Area Computers, Katherine Johnson did the calculations that astronauts relied on for some of America’s earliest space travel. She was so good at her job, even after the electronic computer had been invented, astronaut John Glenn requested that Johnson personally check the machine’s calculations before he took off for his mission on Friendship 7.

Why does that matter?

Katherine Johnson and other pioneers in her field are living proof that women have a place in science and technology. Without her efforts, American astronauts would not have left this planet when they did, and humanity would not know as much about Earth’s place in the universe.

I pushed myself a bit further on this one. I even managed to hunt down a toy space shuttle to indicate Johnson’s importance to the Space Program. I’m enjoying the 3D elements and will definitely be playing with that more in future paintings.

Posted on

More From Afro Triangle Upcycled

I have experienced some success with these jewelry pieces and have been having a great time making them. I must say, it has been an interesting journey coming up with different variations for these bracelets. There’s something about looking at the materials in front of me and seeing the possibilities for each new piece, coming up with different ways to put them together. Anyway, here are the newest creations.

10437437_658974204187229_1851878820242868150_n 10402781_658974157520567_2660392854828025242_n 10372112_658974077520575_1318261520628303452_n 1623411_658974060853910_4959868826802075996_n 10307386_658974044187245_5875486122786801320_n 10441327_658973984187251_1477223123103943468_n 10478449_658973600853956_6896222475731364445_n 10356275_658973360853980_3042808507692094628_n 10432954_658973310853985_983562166850052231_n 10417782_658973234187326_1321574805247345072_n 10403451_658973214187328_8014201771312802541_n 10464348_658973190853997_6604178124362899674_n 10340176_658973137520669_2447855050895922925_n 10433758_651055361645780_3861279311070408210_n (1) 10406897_651055414979108_7074739291878633131_n (1) 10440996_652292541522062_8629074073167317014_n 10305331_652292564855393_355349032553420289_n 10296873_652292594855390_7089039122740625184_n 10441397_652292634855386_6798646383938230902_n 10352600_652292668188716_8512280968644928022_n 10361414_652292698188713_6024000617410213195_n 10364188_652867974797852_5375581492742278811_n 10423806_652868004797849_8936390659252403058_n 1003389_652868034797846_1936621009707352563_n 10402836_652868068131176_566292833606152802_n 10363382_652868101464506_6422474859114879256_n 10406897_651055414979108_7074739291878633131_n

Posted on

Afro Triangle – I Am

I have been quite busy the last few months, and unfortunately, have forgotten to post here. My latest project is an addition to my line of apparel.

2014-04-21 19.19.36-1 Afro Triangle 6 Flipped Small Afro Triangle 6 M Flipped Small

 

 

 

 

The concept behind these designs is to inspire people to own their greatness and to inspire greatness in others. I see this as a happy medium between modesty and bravado. Most of what I call “ego shirts” out there are great at stating that the wearer is someone to be admired for some reason or other, but they come off as unnecessarily cocky.

I-AM-NOT-COCKY-JUST-HONESTfc,220x200,black

il_340x270.575694914_gd2c

 

 

 

I wanted to create a shirt that states the positive attributes of the wearer, either the ones they hold dear, or the ones that others see in them, but they fail to see themselves, but I also wanted to provide a humbling element.

The “and so are you” at the bottom serves as a reminder that none of us are just one thing or another, but that we are all made up of these different attributes, positive or otherwise. We have to remember these things about ourselves, but most importantly, we have to remember them about each other as well. Only then can we be able to get past what makes us different and reveal what makes us similar so that we can really communicate. I am amazing, and so are you.

Posted on

Afro Triangle Represent

I know I posted all the steps of the work in progress on Facebook, but now I’m putting them here. Here are all the pieces in the same place. Once I get around to finishing it, I’ll post the pure lines version which I will be using to print on t-shirts.

ATD Represent WIP

Posted on

Portrait Talk part 1

Some of you may be wondering what it is I’m looking for when I agree to do a portrait of someone and whether or not they pose for me.
Well, I generally prefer to work from photos, the reason being that a photo captures a moment in time. If I have a model posing for me, I’ll be able to capture their likeness but would be hard pressed to capture their expression because that fades over a very short period of time. The model is now staring blankly into space. To me that doesn’t make for an engaging picture.
I prefer to have my clients send me their favorite photos. I do this because of the emotional content of the photo, both in what is visually there, and what memories are surrounding the actual taking of that photo. Here’s an example of a photo I used in a portrait:

scan00071

This was always one of my favorite photos of me as a kid. I love the expression that says, “I’m up to something, you don’t know what, but you’re probably not going to like it”. I remember that was when I still lived in Barbados with my folks and we would go over to my Auntie Peggy’s house for dinner and the older folks would hang out in the back sipping rum and talking, while I would run around seeing what kind of trouble I could get into. Here’s what I did with it:

img209

 

There is more abstraction than the portraits I have been doing lately, but the feeling of contrast between the mischievous kid I was and the adult I am is there. Here’s another one I did from a home photo:

img215

 

My buddy Al lost his grandpa a few years back and asked me to do a painting for the family. They got together and chose one that they felt best showed who he was, this guy with a subtle sense of humor who had worked hard all his life and had these blazing blue eyes. Al told me specifically to emphasize the eyes, since blue eyes in a Mexican man are rare and his grandpa’s eyes always seemed to have this glow to them. Here’s what I did.

Al's Grandpa

 

These examples are of older paintings I’ve done. These days I try to emphasize my subjects by not painting a background. I want the personalities to come through without distraction. This gets us here:

My friend Adam's wife and son. This was a Mother's Day gift.
My friend Adam’s wife and son. This was a Mother’s Day gift.

I’m loving the simplicity of this style which has the added bonus of reminding the viewer that it is in fact a painting. As I hone my skills, I’m getting closer and closer to photo realism, which has been a lot of fun to explore. But I don’t want to just replicate what a camera can do. I want to do better.

 

Posted on

Father’s Day Portrait Special

With Father’s Day around the corner, I was all set to put out my Father’s Day promotion of $250 for an 8×10 portrait of your favorite dad. I’m still gonna do that, but looking around at my friends’ profiles, I see a lot of new babies, so I’m adding an extra bonus for new dads with a $200 painting of your new bundle of joy. The first 15 to respond get this deal, so make some moves!

Here’s what one Mom got this month:

Screenshot (1)
The wife and son of a good friend of mine. She absolutely loved the painting when she got it.