This is a commissioned piece for iSSACHAR Center for Urban Leadership, an urban leadership organization that specializes in connecting communities and creating conversations that allow unique groups hear each others thoughts and ideas. An essential portion of the organization is college stipend and housing that is provided for a group of selected college students over a 10-month period.
Their mission involves training contemporary leaders… “people of Issachar.” In the biblical story of King David, the people of Issachar were described as valuable at a critical moment in history because, “they understood the times, and knew what should be done.” – 1 Chronicles 12:32
Scott Lundeen, the director of the Issachar Center requested a painting for their Soul Music Series. We decided that it would be on particle board (something more durable than canvas). He came up with a concept. I put it into Photoshop and modified it a bit after a few suggestions. I primed the board black and then drew a 3 inch grid system to insure that I painted it at a proper scale. I then using acrylic paint build the facial features touching it up layer by layer.
I’m so glad Scott gave me the opportunity to do this. Thanks Scott and Issachar!
The Sojourner Truth portrait is painting #2 of the Women of Faith and Courage Series. Sojourner Truth was a formerly enslaved person, abolitionist, and civil rights activist who escaped slavery at age 29. She was the first African American to win a case in court against a white man who illegally sold her five-year-old son. Truth was born Isabella but changed her name because she believed that the Spirit called her to preach the truth.
Sojourner’s portrait was started without drawing her face first. Therefore, the beginning painting is not structurally refined. However, her portrait was built using shadows and highlights to develop her facial features.
Jack Johnson was a boxer in the early 1900s who became the first African American heavyweight boxing champion.
Three images were used for this painting. Based on the featured image, you can see that the initial reference photo was of him with his mouth closed. I later decided to utilize images of him smiling. The painting is entirely monochrome except for the gold I placed on his teeth that Johnson was known for.
This is the ‘new’ beginning. 2012 marks the start of a journey to explore the world of Art + Design + Landscape Architecture.
It had been years since I had painted last. My first attempt to paint was this dry brush painting of our boys sleeping. Since it has been a while, painting has felt unnatural. However, I have set a bar in my mind that I would like to achieve. As long as I keep working on it, I know I will be able to achieve my goal of feeling comfortable painting again.
There’s a poem that I have found to be quite inspirational and can be a source of motivation when pursuing your goals. It is called ‘Equipment.’ Take a look at the George Washington Carver painting. I have placed a copy of the poem there.