I am a self-taught artist and native of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands currently residing in Louisville, Kentucky. I developed a love for art early on while observing my father who was an artist and sign maker here in St Croix. After 6 years in the US Army and 25 years as an Auto Worker, I rediscovered my love for art in 2012 and, upon retirement in February of 2021, I had the opportunity to do my first residency and exhibit “From St. Croix to the Southend” at The Little Loomhouse, where I am currently the Gallery and Gift Shop Manager, as well as a Teaching Artist. Through this residency, I continued my journey of exploring my roots and developed a new awareness and love of nature, as is seen in many of my works. In 2023 I was accepted in the exhibit “The Black Experience” with the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, where several of my portrait works from St. Croix were shown. Recently I was given the opportunity to paint a mural at Holger Dansk through the St. Croix Walls Project, which is another art form I had been wanting to explore. I work out of my home studio in Louisville and here in St. Croix. While I have explored several mediums, oil is my medium of choice with an exploration of watercolors. Many of my portrait works are inspired from the everyday life of my family and friends who are here in St. Croix whom I visit with for extended stays yearly.
Exploring my family’s story then and now is a journey I started some 5 years ago that I tell through my paintings. Our conversations give me a glimpse of their past. My observations reveal a present that is still tied to a past in the many cultural traditions that are still followed today and which they hold on to dearly even as they evolve and sometimes are forced to do so with the changing times. In “Making Johnny Cakes”, I was observing my mother (as I always do) making this timeless dish. She sits outside on her bench, ingredients in the pot (or palangana as we call it), no measuring. The ritual is about to begin. The simple ingredients, the technique, the rhythm in which the dough is kneaded. Add more water, sprinkle more flour, until the right texture is achieved. It is a very intimate moment. One that she has visited repeatedly for decades. I capture the tranquil mood in the sage background and the afternoon light coming from the left. The light not only accentuates her facial features as she sinks into her task, but her hard-working hands that seem to perform it with such ease. The patterned traditional tile creates a contrast to the sage background yet pulls it all together to draw the eye the the main subject.