"Rebelle" (alternatively "Rebel Propensity")
24"x24" canvas, acrylic portrait of Lauryn Hill.
I finally finished this piece. Unlike the Nina Simone portrait ... it took a little bit more than a day (I started just after, of course)! It's part of a series of colorful portraits I'm working on, which follow the theme of a surreal painting that I have yet to upload because it was on display for the past few months. Fear not, I just got it back and plan on making a few revisions to it before it gets posted, but I feel like it gets at the theme a little bit better than the individual
pieces in this
All in all, I'm hoping all the themes and motifs I'm dabbling in will make some sense as a whole.
I first want to direct your attention to the process progression of this piece before getting into the meaning behind it:
This piece will hopefully be an attestation to potential and possibility. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this -- I just knew that I wanted to use colors and to work with effects I hadn't really tried before. Most of all, I wanted people to see the process because my goal isn't to intimidate anyone or stir up envy when I paint ... it's quite the contrary! If you look at the initial stages of any piece I create, there's really nothing to what I do.
The only thing it takes to make something (to your liking, at least) is the courage to make mistakes and the willingness to problem-solve around them. It's a process that's a whole lot like life; sometimes innovation and solutions can't occur unless we become totally familiar with the problems themselves. (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, if you will...
Interestingly enough, I never heard Lauryn Hill's introduction to her the song "I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)" before now, and I feel like it's definitely appropriate to share : youtu.be/cWbiN3RYYss
Another thing I've been considering lately (in my recent focus on "diversity") is the idea that good music, art, stories and general communication reaches across cultural barriers. Of course, there's nothing wrong with art that's representative of a specific culture or their history -- but I think we can all benefit from that which connects us on a human
level. It speaks to us in ways that can't be described except through more art and shared inspiration.I'll segue for a brief moment to talk about a diversity conference I recently attended, where I witnessed this kind of idea both flourishing and being stifled (which I won't actually get into here)...
"We all laugh in the same language," is what Tou Ger Bennet Xiong, a Hmong keynote speaker, said in his seminar, and that sort of stuck with me the most from my trip. Despite the fact that he told these very personal, culturally specific stories, I feel like there wasn't a single person at the event who couldn't relate in some way. He spoke an unconditionally human language ... he made us all laugh, which was much to my amazement considering there was such a colossal spectrum of different people present this event.
Then there was a musical performance put on by Ashley Dubose, who was a contestant on The Voice. Part of the way into her first song, everyone was out of their seats and at the edge of the stage ... I was suddenly in this rhythmic mix of colorful, swaying bodies, struck with wonder thinking about all their different stories while absorbing the essence of their presence. Dubose's singing was undeniably incredible, and again, it got me thinking about the walls that sensory (auditory, visual, etc.) stimulation can tear down. Soul touches people of all identities....
Social activist Jeff Johnson also gave one of the most inspirational lectures of the whole event! I can't even begin to describe ....
In contrast to "Dragonfly Out in the Sun", which is a boulder-esque piece; strong, stable, eyes with focus and intent ... there's something indirectly powerful about "Rebelle". At the same time, I feel like it communicates just as strongly. I'm painting this series in a language of colors (...)~ I'm simultaneously toying with factors like synesthesia, my occipital seizure experience a few years ago, and the arbitrary, categorical lines that impact our every perception.
Part of what I discovered in the process of creating this image was the fact that virtually any color is capable of blending with another. It might sound somewhat insignificant, but it just seemed to further resonate with my ideas ....
One of the most wonderful habits I've adopted lately is singing and dancing when I paint; it almost feels like I've improved expontentially just by doing so! My word of advice to emerging artists (as we all are!) is to try new ways of thinking ... experience creation in your own innovative way ... make things happen, be honored, be humble, be your own ideal ... and find love in whatever you do! www.facebook.com/moirart I'm honored, thank you for the DD!