Doodle4Google 2017 Winner

I love this contest. The entries from young artists are so inspiring.

The 2017 winner is Sarah Harrison (CT):


Congratulations to Sarah Harrison from Connecticut in the 10th-12th grade group on being named the National Finalist of the 2016-17 Doodle 4 Google Contest for her doodle “A Peaceful Future”. Google is honored to award Sarah with a $30K college scholarship and a $50K technology award for her school, as well as sharing her doodle on the Google homepage for the world to see.

A Bright Future

The winning artists from this year’s contest shared powerful visions for the world of tomorrow with artwork that advocated for a cleaner environment, worldwide equality, advancing technology, and more. The next generation showed us a bright and hopeful future.

To see the various finalists, click here:

Quote: Inspiration is always everywhere…

“That which takes place by surprise, moments of happiness, that is inspiration.  Inspiration is there all of the time for everyone whose mind is not clouded over with thoughts, whether they realize it or not.  Inspiration is pervasive but not a power.  It is a peaceful thing.  It is a consolation even to plants and animals.  Do not think that it is unique.  If it were unique, no one would be able to understand your art work.  All of the moments of inspiration added together make what we call sensibility, and a development of sensibility is the most important thing for children and adults.”
~ Agnes Martin, from a lecture Cornell University in 1972

Phoenix Art Museum: Extras

Exhibit: Kehinde Wiley – Sculptures

While in Arizona in December, I made time to stop by the Phoenix Art Museum to see Kehinde Wiley’s exhibit. I’ve loved his style since I saw my first image of his at the Brooklyn Museum a decade ago. Until December I had only seen a few images. I was completely blown away by the breadth, scope and creative power he expressed in an exhibit I could only refer to as prolific. I will share some images of his work throughout a few posts. The Phoenix Art Museum exhibit ended at the beginning of January, but be sure to find him whenever he pops up near you.

Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011  Bronze with polished stone base
Likunt Daniel Ailin 2013 From the series The World Stage: Israel (De la serie La escena mundial: Israel) Bronze
Bound, 2014 Bronze
Cameroon Study (Estudio Camerun), 2010 Bronze

Advice to Young Women Artists

Photo taken at Guggenheim Museum’s Agnes Martin exhibit.

“The life of an artist is inspired self-sufficient and independent (unrelated to society).

The direction of attention of an artist is toward mind in order to be aware of inspiration.

Following inspiration life unfolds free of any influence.

Finally the artist recognizes himself in the work and is happy.

Nothing else will satisfy an artist.

An artist’s life is an unconventional life. It leads away from the example of the past. It struggles painfully against its own conditioning.

It appears to rebel but in reality it is an inspired way of life.”

(Published [as Advice to Young Artists])

~ Agnes Martin

Remembering the Atrocities of Hiroshima

A couple of years ago, I saw Hiroshima, Mon Amour, a 1959 French film set in Hiroshima, Japan following the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. I had learned a very sanitized version of the bombings in school, but I don’t recall ever seeing the effects of the bombing, i.e. the large-scale destruction of life and the desolation of the survivors. Prior to watching Hiroshima, Mon Amour, I had not heard of the bombings in any personalized way. Suffice it to say that the film left an impression.

A couple of months ago, I visited Montreal, Quebec and spent an afternoon at the Botanical Garden. I spent the majority of my time that afternoon in the Japanese Garden. I trailed through the meditation spaces, lingered over the bonsai trees and wept over the Hiroshima memorial of drawings by survivors. I’ve been wanting to share this for a while, but it’s been difficult to revisit my photographs and the personal stories they captured. However, the 70th anniversary of the murder of so many Japanese people seemed to be an appropriate time to share the images.

We should all work to eliminate the idea that we need to destroy others in order for some to live with their own ideas of freedom. Visit the City of Hiroshima web site for current information about the city.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Part of the Pacific War, World War II
Two aerial photos of atomic bomb mushroom clouds, over two Japanese cities in 1945.
Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)
Date August 6 and August 9, 1945
Location Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
Result Allied victory
 United States
 United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
United States William S. Parsons
United States Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
Empire of Japan Shunroku Hata
Units involved
Manhattan District: 50 U.S., 2 British
509th Composite Group: 1,770 U.S.
Second General Army:
Hiroshima: 40,000
Nagasaki: 9,000
Casualties and losses
20 U.S., Dutch, British prisoners of warkilled Hiroshima:

  • 20,000+ soldiers killed
  • 70,000–146,000 civilians killed


  • 39,000–80,000 killed

Total: 129,000–246,000+ killed

from Wiki:

Harlem Book Fair: Virtual Visit to Spirit Harvest Table

This is for everyone who would like to visit my table at the Harlem Book Fair, but is unable to. I will be offering a 10-15% discount at the Fair and that offer will extend to anyone who shops from this blog post using this code: WPHBF.

Here’s a link to my Square store: Order Online
Order Online

Hope see you virtually!

Portrait: Hidden Light

Self-portrait experiment

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“You are the light that gives light to the world; don’t hide your light under a bowl.” ~ Matthew 5:14-15


In May I spent a weekend in Montreal. The highlight of the trip by far was a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for the Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism exhibit. Hands down, one of the best exhibits I have ever seen if only for this one image: A Tangerian Beauty. I will share other images from the exhibit in future posts, but for now, this beauty gets her own post, with a spotlight on the gentleman who paired her on the exhibit wall.

Why is she so special? Because most of the women in this exhibit of North African art, culture and people primarily portrayed white women as bejeweled favorites of the African rulers and as the recipients of services from “lower” black female co-servants. The majority of brown and black women were portrayed mostly as hard laborers (evidenced by muscled arms kneading the smooth supple skin of the lounging white women) or entertainers. The Tangerian Beauty is the one black woman in the WHOLE exhibit who was not depicted in a sexually exploitative manner, or in a physically unattractive way (i.e. as a dismissive curiosity) or as a servant. The bias of most of the works on display was so oppressive, I grew angrier throughout the exhibit. This got me to thinking of how black women have been portrayed in fine art throughout the ages around the world. Some sad thoughts there… but inspiration is blooming…. Yet still there was a whole exhibit, in a major museum, depicting the peoples and cultures of North Africa – something I have never seen in America.

A Tangerian Beauty by José Tapiró Y Baró, 1891
A Tangerian Beauty by José Tapiró Y Baró, 1891

A Tangerian Beauty is a splendid example of José Tapiró Y Baró’s North African ethnographic types that showcase the artist’s skill and remarkable attention to detail. In this vivid watercolor, the silken gleam of the headscarf, colorful feathers, the glint of gold, glow of pearls, elaborate costume, and the careful study of a particular physiognomy contribute to the remarkable immediacy of the image. The frame is original to this work, and apart from several decorative motifs, contains the number 1309, which probably refers to the Muslim Hijri calendar, which started counting in 622 AD to commemorate the Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina. If converted to the Gregorian calendar, the year would be about 1891 AD.


She was paired with this handsome fellow:

Head of a Moor by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, c. 1875
The Beauty and the Moor
The Beauty and the Moor
Admiring the Beauty and the Moor
Admiring the Beauty and the Moor

More exhibit photos:

Visit Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (

Merry Christmas from NYC