Before becoming a full-time fine artist, I had a long and successful career as a lawyer and legal educator. But in the end, I came back to that which has been the enduring force in my life: fine art. I attended Cooper School of Art while in my early twenties. Even while practicing and teaching law, I continued to paint and develop my unique style.
My paintings are largely based upon people who I've known or have met. I paint in pastels, oils, and watercolors. But pastels are my favorite! I draw my subjects with soft pastel and use different mixed media to bring them to life. In my Nubian Series I use traditional African cloth and contemporary materials to separate figure from ground and liberate the subject from the two dimensional confines of the paper. As someone once noted, there is something about cloth that is as basic to us as the air we breathe. It surrounds us from birth to death; it is the stuff of celebration and ceremonies; and says something about us that words alone can not. The 'hard,' tactile nature of the cloth creates a contrast with the soft, organic nature of the human figure so that it appears almost three dimensional. Likewise, in my Jazz Series the vivid, free form designs created by wet-on-wet watercolor background give my pastel subjects life, while adding an almost otherworldly dimension to the composition.
Recently, I lived in a Maasai village in rural Kenya. I was so moved by the beauty and gentleness of the people that I decided to try and capture their spirit using water color. I call these paintings my Kajiado Series after the district where the village is located. I think that the sometimes unpredictable and painterly nature of wet-on-wet water color adds a level of humanity to these images.
In 2013, I was awarded the prestigious Creative Workforce Fellowship by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
The following are some other awards, commissions and juried art shows and competitions that I have participated in.
2013 Community Partnership for Arts and Culture/Cuyahoga Arts and Culture - Creative Workforce Fellowship
2011 - 2013 Cain Park Art Festival - Cleveland Heights, Ohio
2012 Our Stories in Art, Art Show - Lakeland Community College, Kirtland, Ohio
2011 - 2012 Canton National Art Show - Canton, Ohio
2011 - 2012 Boston Mills Art Fest - Peninsula, Ohio
2007 Muse Gallery, Annual National Juried Exhibition – Works On Paper - Philadelphia PA
2004-2006 Unicover, Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming - Commissions to design original art work to compliment recent deigns of U S postage stamps.
2003 & 2006 Sankofa Fine Arts Expo - Cleveland, Ohio
2002 National Black Arts Festival – Atlanta, Georgia.
2002 Second Place in Fine Arts – Barbara Ludin Art Competition - Shaker Heights, OH.
2001 October Gallery Art Expo – Philadelphia, PA.
2000 Best of Show in Fine Arts – National Arts Competition, Cleveland, Ohio.
2000 Best of Show in Fine Arts – Barbara Ludin Art Competition - Shaker Heights, Ohio.
2000 Featured Artist – Ohio State University at Marion Art Festival - Marion, Ohio.
1999 Poster - 17th Annual Convention - American Sickle Cell Anemia Association - Cleveland, Ohio.
1998 Best of Show in Fine Arts – Clifton Arts Festival, Cleveland, Ohio.
1997 Best of Show in Fine Arts – Cleveland-Prospect Artscape - Cleveland, Ohio.