Malian Girl was inspired by a close friend of mine who hails from Mali, West Africa. I thank her for helping to rekindle my love of painting in acrylic.
I was on a near 7- year hiatus from picking up a paintbrush, when she asked me if I would create this piece. Since I had never painted people or faces before this, it was a long process of painting and repainting, hence the several versions.
What began with imitating an image of an unidentified Malian village girl, transformed into a blend of features from the girl in the original photo, my friend's characteristics, and my own twist.
Her young defiance and confidence was something I enjoyed portraying. The crossed arms, hard stare, and raised eyebrow were the details I wanted to capture.
In high school, I had a love affair with Turner Classic Movies. I was introduced to a world of clean narratives and original storytelling, from a time when Hollywood spiced up its productions more often with creativity and class, rather than "adult content."
One such actress that embodied this nostalgic and perhaps rose-tinted view of the golden age of Hollywood, was Audrey Hepburn. More well known by younger millennials as the go-to, dorm-room poster decorative, Hepburn's acclaim as a multifaceted thespian and humanitarian has been pushed to the wayside in recent years.
Even still, she has continued to be an icon of feminine class, well into the 21st century. As an entertainer, she had this sanguine energy about her, which inspired me to sketch this piece as an ode to one of my favorite classic actresses.
Silhouettes at Sunset
Perhaps a foreshadowing of my future move to Nairobi, Kenya, this three canvass piece was inspired by my appreciation for naturally occurring sunset "paintings." No matter where you live in the world, sunsets are always uniquely beautiful. Some of my favorites however, are the surreal, giant-sun photos taken in the Kenyan savannahs.
I have always been a fan of the flower art of Georgia O'Keeffe. Many years ago, I decided to paint my own. Violeta, meaning both the color and the flower in Spanish, was one of my first acrylic paintings. What is interesting about this piece is that it was painted on thin paper rather than canvass. What was meant to be a practice throw-away, ended up being one of my favorites.
Vintage Girl Stencil Painting
This Marilyn Monroe-esque visage was one in a series of five that I painted in different color variations. The image was first drawn on thick paper, cut out with a razor blade, and then stencil-painted in.