Marylin Monroe is an iconic figue of America. Beautiful, successful, wealthy, well-loved and tragic. In truth, her life was riddled with hardships and depression. Why do we always feel such a need to hide that part of ourselves we feel no one wants to see? Why do we cringe at the words "mental illness" or "depression?" Let's finally throw off the shackles of stigma and start the conversation. So the brightest stars will not be snuffed out before there time.
The Hope of Africa
This oil painting on wood panel is from a photograph reference taken in East Africa. The inspiration for this piece comes from my work with the Caluya Foundation. They are a non-profit organization with 8 different projects across 5 countries. The specific project that inspired this piece is a recent 5K I was blessed to have the opportunity to direct. The funds from the 5K were used to help stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in East Africa.
There seems to a solemness to this young girls face, but you can still see the light of hope in her eyes. Although she has obviously experienced hardship, there is a strength and innocence that still remain. Hope and healing can come in many ways. Hopefully, this portrait will help provide healing through bringing awareness and a motivation for change.
Composed Strength and Serene Beauty
Gouache painted piece also inspired by the women of East Africa. There is a serene beauty and pride in such a strong and humble people. She seems to be waiting with calm anticipation. What is she waiting for? Who is she watching as she stands noble in the streets of Africa?
Resilience Despite the Rain
I am captivated by this older African woman’s stance as she surveys the damage after a mudslide. This watercolor piece depicts the resilience and perseverance of a beautiful and noble people. This is nothing new and she will move forward despite the set back. One day at a time, after the damage is finished.