The Black Female

I grew up in Carson City, Nevada.  I recall that in our entire town, there were three black families.  One girl, Peggy, was my volleyball partner and we were rookies together during the year we won the state title.  She moved to Las Vegas the next year.  I still miss her.  Now that we are living in the South, I of course encounter many more black females and I am continually fascinated with them.  As a figure painter, I catch myself staring at their clothes, shoes, accessories, diverse hairstyles and the way they talk and move.  It is still so new and different to me.  As I explore the mysteries of which I am very ignorant, this will be a continual subject for me.  The colors in their skin are anything but black or brown and I am challenged in all regards.  I am trying different papers and backgrounds in my quest to get to know all I can.


8 x 11 Pastel on Colorfix Supertooth Sanded Paper, Watercolor Wash


6 x 9 Pastel on Watercolor Paper, Watercolor Wash


8×12 Pastel on Sanded Paper

I was at my favorite beach ever, Hunting Island State Park outside of Beaufort, S.C., and had the opportunity to watch this girl pick at the sand with her stick.  Though I worked from photography, I painted loose and free, remembering the sounds of the ocean in my mind.


9×12 Pastel on Sanded Paper

This gal is a wonderful painter as well as model for my weekly art group.  I worked in the moment without the aid of anything except a few of my favorite pastel sticks.  I was delighted when she showed up with a scarf and colorful clothes which match a colorful personality.


6×9 Pastel on Pumice Primed Watercolor

My signature is purple and I usually sneak a little in when I paint.  This warm purple was the result of a watercolor wash to the paper followed by a rough pumice texture.  The paper pulls the action together and also contrasts with the yellow at the bottom of the painting.


7×9 Original Pastel on Colourfix Suede Paper

This is the same person that I painted above but I also just had to paint this angle.  She looked as though she was doing a dance of her hands within the water.  I experimented with a textured paper similar to canvas.  I like the way the sun touched her arms.