I have traveled down many different and exciting roads in my life so far. I have been a dancer, an actor, a musician, a teacher, a poet, a book author, a sorority house mom, and even a shoe shine. And I have tried to ‘shine’ in each of these endeavors.
And, now, I am officially traveling another exciting road involving sculpture and painting. I started painting to help illustrate one of the children’s picture books that I wrote, Benjamin Boo Paints.
I painted a few more paintings for special occasions as I attempted to let my artistic self break free from the negative voices inside and figure out in what voice my artistic self would speak.
With the onslaught of COVID-19 and sheltering at home to attempt to stay safe from the ravages of the virus, I began to really be able to focus on my artistic voice. And that voice spoke about the faces of COVID and the perseverance that so many have shown while trying to survive.
My artistic voice is now speaking through clay sculpture and palette knife painting.
Using clay sculpture, I have created five figures representing people who have continued to serve during this time; people we don’t usually call heroes, but people who are heroes in the best sense. I have ideas for more sculptures, and I will continue creating those.
Another artistic venture I have discovered is palette knife painting. This is where you paint on canvas or other surface using thick paint and palette knives. I mix acrylic paint and modeling paste to make my thick paint. I am discovering new and exciting ideas for these paintings.
I have been working on these artistic endeavors for a little while, but today is a very special day. I have published a website to focus on the art I have created and will continue to create.
Here are just two examples of my artwork:
For me, these pieces in clay express my thankfulness for those who have continued to serve amid the pandemic with little or no recognition for their efforts and their risk.
The representational body forms and use of multi-color clay express that they may be any gender, any race, any age. The focus is on what they have done and continue to do for the rest of us to go on with our lives in this horrific time.
The masks are black to represent the deadly virus that they must guard against with reference to lung damage like damage caused by black lung disease. Since the masks cover the mouth and most of the face, they symbolize that many had no voice or choice in the matter. They must work in order to keep their jobs and feed their families.
The red bases represent the life blood that they give metaphorically when they are working and the literal lives that some have lost by being struck by COVID-19.
I hope you will click the link below and check out my artwork on the website.