Alma Woodsey Thomas was an American artist and educator whose distinctive color field paintings recall the techniques of Pointillism and Abstract Expressionism while representing an altogether independent artistic vision and body of work. The Georgia native spent most of her life in Washington D.C., where she taught art at Shaw Junior High School for 35 years. Thomas was actively involved in the local arts community, and become associated with the Washington Color School. Thomas powerfully refused to accept discriminatory labels and restrictions on her work and herself. Although she chose to let her art carry its own message, Thomas was nonetheless a groundbreaking and influential figure, and at the age of 80, she became the first African-American woman featured in a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972.
I have decided to start something I hope I can keep up and that is Art on Mondays. I will post a photo of my art and a link explaining the what it means to me. I will talk about the creation of the art, what I was thinking, feeling, or listening to keeping it under 5 minutes! I won’t post every Monday but, I hope to post at least twice a month.
Here is the link to this piece of work. Just click and the link will pop up! Enjoy!
Self-love is reflecting on your behavior and modifying it. This means you must think about why you did what you did, said what you said, and allow what you allow. You might have to get some help from a therapist to help you to help yourself. Yep. Self-love is hard work.
“My errors give birth to my knowledge.” -Steps to Knowledge, Marshall Vian Summers
The other morning I was talking to a brother (friend of mine). He called to express his thoughts, feelings, and concern about the societal sickness of America and the World. In the conversation, he said something to me that was enlightening at the time and would become something I was suppose to add to my knowledge “kit”. He said, “You cannot have a conversation with emotions, but you can have a conversation with intellect.”
Three times between Thursday and Saturday, I tried to have a conversation with people that were emotional. As I am typing this, Spirit also made me aware that three times, I backed off and came to the recognition that I was dealing with an emotional person. Three times I became AWARE. Two times I had that hesitation to NOT respond just because I was invited via post or what I saw! I was getting ready to type that I failed, but no. THREE times I became aware and I learned. Practice makes mature. Practice makes growth. Whatever that person was feeling would dominate the conversation. It would be skewed to support their emotion. Backing off is seen as a weakness by the carnal, the fleshy, the ego, and a child like mentality. But knowing when to back off is WISDOM. It’s knowledge. It’s smart. It can save your life, energy, and time. And those are three things you can’t get back (You can get more of them, but that’s another blog).
Cost effective conversations is something I came up with after this happened to help me again Saturday. I need to ask myself is this conversation cost effective? Is it productive as it relates to my time, my energy, and my life? If they have their minds made up, why are we talking? If they are biased about the subject, have some ill will towards a group, why are we talking? If they are telling you from the jump, I am being petty, why engage? They are saying to you, “I am emotional and I am not willing to have a conversation based on intellect. I can’t even harness my emotions to have a conversation balanced with intellect.” This is a waste of my time, my life, my energy. I do not need to engage and if I can recognize this before I even get into a conversation, the better! If not, I at least need to be able to make a U-Turn before I get to far down the road.
What’s down that road? Frustration. Anger. Arguments over nothing that has to do with the main topic. You’ll never be heard or understood with a person that are in their feelings and out of their mind (lol! That was a good one!). You’ll never be heard or understood with a person who has already made up their mind and is not open to listening or understanding. This is where I call Shift into Reverse. Cars have a reverse for a reason and so do conversations. There is no weakness in backing off or up when you realize the road you are on is named Petty or Ignorance is Bliss. Sometimes you may notice a sign that says, Children at Play. Get out of there quickly!!!!
The knowledge that I present to you today has been brought to by my errors on this week. Wisdom will let you know, hence it was that hesitation for me, if there is an opportunity to talk, grow, learn or if you are headed nowhere fast.
And Note: You also can’t have a real productive conversation with someone that lacks the knowledge on a matter. Sometimes people don’t have the education or wisdom to have a conversation about certain things. I mean, I can’t talk to you about calculus or get to deep into a subject on global warming. I know I am limited in those areas. This is where you may hear me say or type: “Hmm. Tell me more.”
The amazingly, creative, mind blowing artwork of Gerald Chukwuma is on display in my city, Memphis, TN. at Art Village Gallery. The show was entitled Out of Africa: The Art of Fashion and was put on by the creative being, Khalifa Kofi. There was a fashion show, a live body art painting, and artwork on display. I cannot wait until she puts on more shows and to see the rest of what she has in store for us.
Ephraim Urevbum, is an artist and owner of ART VILLAGE GALLERY. We met her last Friday night and what a beautiful being! I can’t wait to bring my daughter to the gallery. As most of you know, both of us are artists.
After the show, a friend and I walked across the street to Spindini’s for dinner. We didn’t know they had a live band that was playing some of the smooth jazz classics. The lady that was singing had a beautiful voice. I ordered the B.B. Queen cocktail and got the pizza I was craving. As two single ladies in Memphis, there was plenty to chat about. But, also plenty of other things to laugh about! There is plenty to do in Memphis and it’s time we all broaden our horizons and enjoy it.
Last year I had the opportunity to sale and show my work at an art event for African American/Black artists in the Fall of 2018. The B.A.E (Black Art Experience)! It was the first showing of my art and I sold three pieces I believe. In the city of Memphis, and many other cities, there is not enough exposure or outlets for people of color and their art. Well, this young lady created an event that did just that.
Fast forward to this year and here she is opening up her own art gallery, teaching art to children in a school system, and with many more things on the horizon for all things art!
This was the GRAND OPENING that houses several artists in the city, including her beautiful art of black women and girls. Hopefully, I will be able to get a piece of my art in there soon. I marvel at the artists and their works. I got to speak with one of my favorite artists at this opening, Mosal Morszart, and met many more new artist.
Seeing their work on the walls really inspired me and talking with Mosal gave me a confidence boost in my own lane as an abstract artist. Jennifer, has also been very supportive and encourage of my work. This means so much to the black girl inside of me who’s work was shunned by an art teacher in High School. Up until then, many teachers were supportive and I was asked to take on many creative projects in school. I stopped painting after that teacher in High School. It wasn’t until about two years ago I put the brush to the canvas and it was like I never left.
Each artist was able to speak about their work.
Not only is there art for purchase, there is also art to wear and art for your home. I really like this space and I am really proud of Jennifer, a sister that has opened up another door for artists. Click the link for more Orijennal Art!
Top of the morning to you! I had a great weekend filled with vending at two different events. One was the Colonial Park UMC Fall Arts & Crafts Festival and the other was the 4th Annual Purple Meets Pink Affair (for Domestic Violence Survivors & Breast Cancer Survivors). Let’s get the WOES out of the way, shall we?
The Woes: I was affected by the storm and tornado that came through on Monday morning of last week. My power was out until FRIDAY evening and I had my entire week planned to finish up and prepare for both events. I had to crochet in the day and go to my parents in the evening and return home at night. It was cold at night and I have Rheumatoid Disease. I layered my quilts. I eventually got a hotel room Thursday night until Saturday morning. I crocheted all Friday night and slept for 4 hours and did the event. In the midst of this I finalized the ending of a relationship after seeing something with my own eyes. This person was also suppose to help me with both shows. I had no idea how I was going to do all of this. I was incredibly STRESSED and in so much pain. My daughter called me from college Friday and said “Mom, my classmate is coming home and I am going to ride to come and help you with your events.” She had no idea about the power being out, nor the break up. I did not want to concern her with those things because she should be focused on her classes. I was exhausted before she ever arrived. I did tell her once she got here. She was a HUGE help as she has been my helper as long as she could walk and talk lol. Anyways, I made it through both events and the last one I had to do all by myself, but she helped load everything into the car before she returned to school on Sunday. I had two very supportive phone calls from one stranger during that week about the break up, depression and anxiety. She is an in your face truth kind of person. I needed that. Plus, I realize Mercury is in Scorpio and this is the season of BOLD TRUTH AND BRUTAL HONESTY. Boy did I get a HEAP (as my granny would say) of that at the end of this relationship. A HEAP (just had to say it again).
Now on to TRIUMPH!
The rain slowed the crowd down at the Arts and Crafts festival that morning. But then as I suspected and prayed for, all of us vendors in my area were praying, the rain slacked and the people came in like a flood! I sold so much of my crocheted items and even a piece of art! I met numerous vendors, received great advice and made many connections. I also learned of more places I could vend and sell. I also learned how to get into the fairs that come to our city. I learned about a huge event in St. Louis. It was a great Saturday although I was tired, in pain, and I slept like a log when I did get home. I put on my smiling face and greeted every customer.
Sunday I was ready to go to the second event. The event itself was inspiring and once again I met some great business owners. I shopped with them and they with me. I did very well at this event for it to me a small crowd. The people there were very supportive and so were the vendors.
Here are some photos of the other amazing and gifted vendors from both events. Plus, the things I purchased!
This is my haul from the events. It’s important to support other vendors!
It was a hot and sunny evening! I am talking southern heat and humidity, but I was so stoked to be there to see one of my favorite jazz guitarist of all time, Mr. Norman Brown. Plus, having all the other jazz artists before him come on was like the cake! I am a huge fan of jazz and just a huge fan of music period. This was a few weeks ago!
Keyboardist, Keiko Matsui has gained a new fan. Me! I have heard one of her songs played frequently on the jazz stations here. But, I did not know it was her! And everything that she played I enjoyed so much I have purchased more of her music.
Mike Phillips is a dazzling jazz artist. He is energetic and what we would describe with slang “off the chain.” He jumped off stage and headed for the audience. He brought so much energy to the stage and to the crowd. Mad love and Mad energy was amazing!
A headliner in his own right, Will Downing was there! I wanted to hear him as much as I wanted to see and hear Norman Brown. All of these artist are superb and hold their own in the business. The smooth voice of Will Downing is intoxicating along with the love songs he sings. The ladies in the crowd were swooning! And rightfully so! He song all of the songs we knew and we sang along.
And here is where I lost my cool. As soon as Norman Brown came onto the stage I was star struck! Totally unexpected from me! I was just so overwhelmed by his presence, his brilliance as an artists, and thought to myself, “Is this really happening? It is! I am really sitting here, seeing an artist I have ALWAYS wanted to see perform live AND I HAVE AMAZING SEATS!” It took me a moment to come out of my daze, but once I did I enjoyed every single minute of this man’s performance. He gave it ALL he had!
This will go down in history of my memories as one of the greatest experiences of my life. Hearing and seeing Norman Brown perform live is a highlight of music memories.
I had researched enough. I had practiced enough. I had thought about it long enough. I had stood on the sidelines watching and observing others. It was time to JUMP. TRY MY HAND AT IT. LEARN AND LIVE THROUGH THE PROCESS. RIDE THE WAVES. It was writing a book. It was putting it out there. It was learning to crochet, selling it, and doing festivals. It was working on a mini-series. It was taking sewing lessons. It was creating abstract art and putting it out there for the world to see.
JUMP. It’s scary. It’s nerve wracking. It’s exhilarating. It’s freeing. It’s fun. It’s faith building for sure!
Creating is empowering to me. Finding that “thing” or doing what you love can empower you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hobby or going back to school to be what you always wanted to be. It could be starting a business. All of this can be empowering and leading you into that feeling of satisfaction, joy, or accomplishment.
Painting, crocheting, writing, decorating, fashion, and teaching spiritual things are empowering to me. Blogging is creative to me. Find your “thing” and let it empower you to do more of it and to learn more of about it.