Tell us about yourself. What does being an artist mean to you?
I was born and raised in the Bahamas. I cannot say exactly when I began my love affair with art. I only know that it is an affair of the heart. Being an artist is what I am. I do not know anything else but to be an artist. I remember at the age of three a green florescent school table that I kept all my coloring books and pencil crayons, crayons and water colors. I never played with dolls or other toys, it was all about coloring. I am blessed because I have such a supportive husband that allows me to focus on my art full time, so it is either my graphics or painting and I love it.
What is your workspace or studio like?
What an interesting question. My workspace is wherever I have room to paint. From my bedroom to my living room to the game room to outside, everywhere is my workspace.
Please explain the method behind your creative process.
I have been painting all my life and it has always been… when I am inspired I paint. But that has totally changed in the last two months. I have always heard as an artist you should put paint to canvas everyday. Which had always seemed very excessive and impractical to me. However, I have changed that, I now force myself to create 3 paintings a week and it is taking me to places I have never been before. I am experimenting with different products in my paintings; I am learning more about the body and how it works, I am being “free” with how I paint. This has been a wonderful experience, which just started out with me wanting to push and challenge myself.
What inspires you to create? What role, if any, does identity play in your art? Please explain.
Identity is what my art is about. I grew up with body issues, just like many girls these days, but to top it off I had a family member tell me he was embarrassed to be seen with me and I was just too fat. From there I started painting nudes. And my end conclusion was, if I can stand in front of a mirror naked and like the person that I am I have won the battle of self worth.
How does travelling or migrating (domestically or internationally) influence your creative process?
Moving to Bossier, Louisiana has stunted my creative process; over the last 4 years that we have been here I have been very uninspired. Since I paint nudes, it is frowned upon and looked at as pornography. This is a hard pill for me to swallow so I just stopped painting. Which is what takes us to question 3 on why I started making myself paint.
Is it important for your art to communicate a message? Please explain.
Yes it is important to communicate a message, however this usually needs to come from me talking and sharing because usually people only see a naked body. My message is learn yourself and love yourself. We as women are very hard on each other and we should spend our time lifting each other up instead of pulling each other down.
In your opinion, what is the best city in the world to see art?
Oh My!!! I love Europe because the art is so old and tells such rich stories. I loved Santa Fe. The colors and the diversity in the art. New York because how overwhelming it is and it makes me feel so small, but above all else the colors that come out for the Caribbean. I guess it is the Caribbean and that is probably because I am an Island girl myself and I just love the colors.
With which artist and in what location, would you like to have lunch? What would you order?
Frida Kahlo. She had such a tragic life after her accident but through it all she painted and she painted what she felt which was not always pretty. Lunch, no because it might distract me from what she was saying. I would want all my attention to be on her.
It has been said that “art and wine go hand in hand…” Please talk about your wine of choice and the three artists with whom you would like to share it.
Edgar Degas, Salvador Dali, and Georgia O’Keeffe. I enjoy a smooth Chardonnay and I like these artists for different reasons. Degas, I loved that he painted the female form and how delicate his work was, but even more than that, he was able to tell a story with his painting. He engaged his audience and always had them wanting to see more. Dali, because I am a huge Surrealist fan, it takes a very creative man to come up with these kind of paintings. O’Keeffe, you found the feminine form in the flowers she painted.
Are you familiar with Basquiat (1996), Pollock (2000) and Frida (2002)? In the essence of these biopic films, whom would you want cast for your role? Please explain.
I would like Tracee Ellis Ross, she is quirky and silly and appears to be enjoying life. I am a huge believer that life is supposed to be happy and not to take it too serious. And she sooooo seems to be similar to the character she plays on Black-ish.