A love letter written with a paintbrush is extremely intimate. Each stroke brought to the surface of the canvas is a clue into an artist's mind and soul. Words are not used to tell a story, it is through colors, various compositions, different scales and the power of the brush strokes that evoke emotions. This is the process I use when I paint. I have always been one to paint from the very center of my core. I use drips, hard lines, patterns, collages and colors in my paintings to convey my messages and feelings.
The painting I am now working on is of my son, Oliver. It shows this process very clearly. As a mother of a black son, I worry about his future and how people will interact with him. Like all mothers, I too, wish for a future where our kids are able to achieve all of their dreams and grow into kind, strong, and humane adults. Hopefully, they will also develop pride in themselves and honor their personal histories.
This painting is a letter to him. I am promising him that I will never be silent or blind about the injustices that many boys who look like him must face every day. I will raise my voice, I will educate myself and others so we can use our privilege to create change, even though that change will not always be welcomed. I am constantly hearing about black men being murdered and wrongfully judged. As a mother of a black child, I have the responsibility of making sure my son is proud of his beautiful skin and even prouder in his history and belief in himself. The sad truth is he will have to work harder to prove his kind heart than those who look like me. This painting has many layers of hopes, dreams, and wishes of a better world for all the beautiful black boys of our future. May we all be the change we want to see.