art

SWEET BEAZIE

In Chattanooga, there was a café near the pedestrian bridge I used to frequent. Over the counter hung a tasteful painting of several women sitting on the grass in the nude engaged in conversation. Seemingly staring back at anyone looking at the painting was a small blue dog with yellow eyes that didn’t quite belong in the scene. Every time I went into the café, I was mesmerized by the painting and the dog. Finally, one day, I asked to speak to the owner. I was told the owner was seldom there and the lady asked if there was any way she could help me. I told her that I was interested in buying the painting. She smiled kindly into my then very young face and gave me an art lesson on the first George Rodrigue original Blue Dog that I had seen to date. Needless to say, I don’t own one. Many yea...

SHE DRIP

She had been dripping down the looking glass for years. While people watched the Drip. Drip. Drip. into the bowl underneath where breathing souls finally fell into themselves. But she was less concerned about when she would fall into the water bowl than how she looked to the people standing around watching. And this tortured her, knowing how foolish her preoccupations. Once, another drop gained her path and they became one piece of wet slipping down faster to the water bowl. surrendered to each other’s weight. She liked it. Their drops one piece of wet magnifying. obscuring. the people watching their drip. But someone screamed outside the looking glass on a no reference afternoon and the glass shook. She looked up, then down. saw the eyes again of the people watching her drip. now with mor...

LITTLE WRITINGS FROM THE LILAC WRITER: PART TWO

Fight for yourself to be your own risk taker. Fight for yourself because sulking in glooming blue is a NO! NO! Fight for yourself because YOU WANT TO NOT BECAUSE ONE SAYS YOU HAVE TO. Fight for yourself because the clock is ticking and the dam that you’ve created that leads to Sadland – nowhere has overflown. Fight for yourself because these battle pillars that you have planted internally and externally for yourself are ready to collapse without your knowledge. Tell me are you going to fight for yourself or refuse to use your growing armour?     —     This is a sad poem about dream stealers who are willing to unseal jars of dreams that do not belong to them. This is a sad poem about a few going over the horizon in search of a rainbow but they only come...

#KEYTOO

Tarana Burke started something over 10 years ago. It reached me for the first time last fall: #metoo. A feeling had been growing in me for quite some time and this felt like such a release! People starting to flood social media with stories about their lives. I, myself, went all in. I shared sh*t from my past that only a few friends know about. I read as many stories as I possibly could for a few days. It seemed like all the people who had been carrying scars from being sexually and/or assaulted in Sweden were on a path to heal themselves and let go of the shame that comes with it. My way of expressing myself is through textiles, mainly embroidery. Following the #metoo hashtag, I saw the raised fist symbol in a lot of places: Instagram, Facebook, TV and online media. The Black Power fist a...

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

I am a 22 year-old woman and I’m still learning to love myself, and that’s okay. Although I’ve always expressed myself through art, it isn’t something that I always took seriously. I didn’t ever think that anyone would be able to connect with my silly little drawings, and I certainly didn’t consider it a career. In a world full of opportunity, I’ve always felt lost. That being said, my passion for art has always remained constant. My art is a bright light in this often dimly lit world. I recently have been working on my art harder than I’ve ever worked before. I find myself constantly creating more, and trying my best to put it out there. I’m a self-taught artist and my mission is to bring my art to life. My drawings are a direct reflection of what’s going on inside my head. My work explor...

A BURST OF BUTTERFLIES

The veil of ignorance can prevent us from knowing who we are. But we owe it to ourselves to explore our potential and seize our power. Though introspection can be difficult, it’s necessary. This is not simply a call to action for reflecting on our errors. Of course we must recognize our mistakes and grow, but we must monitor our negative self-talk, too. We must reflect on our strengths and our ability to solve problems. It is not productive to blame ourselves for things that are not our fault. It also isn’t productive to harp on past mistakes when we’ve apologized, rectified the situation, and learned to do better. I created “A Burst of Butterflies” to inspire viewers to consider the beauty of possibility. Sometimes darkness is all we can see, but that doesn’t mean it is the only thing tha...

PAINTING AN UNSEEN DISEASE

My work changed drastically one day in 2010 when I found myself creating surreal organic environments. I decided I didn’t feel like painting portraits anymore. Although I started from a place of abstraction, the new paintings became filled with strange hybrids of flowers, cells and symbols that appeared like organisms from another planet. It was only later that I found out I had cancer crawling through my body at an alarming rate. When my doctor showed me the scans of the tumor, it looked almost identical to what I had been painting, tentacles and all. I was told I had a rare 1% of all cancers and I was in serious trouble. My tumor felt like it was a part of me, it had its own set of nerves and feelings separate from the rest of my body. I wondered what those heads of the tentacles w...

FOLLOW YOUR HEART: AN ITALIAN PRAYER

This is Gassy again. I am back with this art work I produced seven years ago just to tell all of you that in all doubts in life, whether it is for a career move, a continent move, a new love, “Va dove ti porta il cuore,”  meaning “follow your heart.” Apply it to your life like an old romantic Italian prayer and read the awesome book by Susanna Tamaro “Follow Your Heart” which inspired this art work.     Author: Gassy Traore Email: gassyt@hotmail.co.uk Author Bio: My message to the world is “Follow your heart, Follow your dreams.” Link to social media or website: http://splendourofadream.tumblr.com

ALEX WAGGONER: A SERIES OF PAINTINGS

Alex’s paintings are based on the traditional Southern urban landscapes and architecture that surround her in Charleston. Employing the dreamy color palette abundant in the Charleston environment, she contrasts these images with meticulous paint application. Through this exploration of architectural individuality proliferant in Charleston, she aims to encourage a thoughtful dialogue concerning Charleston’s historical significance, forgotten spaces in-between and the impact of gentrification. Alex graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking in 2012. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina and paints in her home studio. www.alexwaggoner.com @alexwaggoner alex@alexwaggoner.com        

EMO GRRRLS: A COMIC STRIP

  Author: Jennifer B. Larson Email: jenniferblarson@gmail.com Author Bio: Jennifer B. Larson is a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools, a punk-rocker, writer and illustrator. She draws the comic strip “Emo Grrrls” and runs Disappearing Media. Check out their new card-game, Douchebag CEO. Link to social media or website: http://www.disappearingmedia.com

ANNIE HASLAM: A “RENAISSANCE” WOMAN

Annie Haslam is the long-time lead singer of the symphonic rock band “Renaissance” that played sold out shows across the globe. She is known for her five-octave voice, recognizable in her band or solo career, and her incredible intuitive artwork. Annie sat down with Harness to talk about finding her career and overcoming obstacles to find herself. Annie, how did your journey begin? My journey began in 1947 in a smoky cotton mill town called Bolton in Lancashire.  We were a working-class family; I had two brothers, Michael and Keith, and Mum and Dad, Annie and George. I had a loving childhood with a few medical situations, but I came through okay except for an ongoing ear problem that I now live with and can deal with. …It’s a long story! My dad was an amateur comedian/singer as a hobby, bu...

HOW I FIND INNER PEACE WITH CROCHET

When I was a young child, I would watch my grandmother and mother create beautiful dresses made of silk garments, warm sweaters from yarn and creative images from embroidery. Soon, they taught me how to create as well, passing down their passion for handcraft down to me. I remember the day my mother and I were crocheting. We were sitting quietly in our living room, classical Arabic music was playing in the background, we had some Arabic kleicha on our living room table (Arabic homemade cookies) and mint tea in a glass cup. The vibe was extremely soothing and relaxing. That day, she was teaching me how to make a scarf. We both had our own crochet hooks and yarn. Mine was red and hers was pink. She would start to create the base masks and I would watch and follow her lead. We wouldn’t speak ...

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