Thursday, January 29, 2009

Flying Girl Was Only Waiting For This Moment to Arrive, or Blackbird

Flying Girl Was Only Waiting For This Moment to Arrive, or Blackbird
Golden Fluid Acrylic on Paper 5x8"

Here's what I did to the painting that I was completely unsatisfied with. Yes, that is a Beatles quote.
This is the painting that she came from. The one I didn't like. I like the idea, I do not like the execution. It is nothing like what I had in my head and for all my fixing, I could not make it work.

I do like, however how you can see the profile through the Flying Girl.

She is the most birdlike of all my Flying Girls. Once I painted her outline, and saw the bird coming out, I just had to go with it. And once I had gone with it, the song started playing in my head, and I had to take it all the way and paint her black.

On an interesting note, I keep trying to make some of my Flying Girls black, as in African American, but it never works out. Is it because she represents me and, although I am ethnic, one of the things about me is my exceedingly pale skin. But I've managed to represent blondes without feeling like I was forcing it, and the other thing about my appearance is my exceedingly dark hair. So what is my problem with making a Black woman? I do not know. It's not like Black culture does not have a powerful presence in my life, because it does, and always has. Maybe less so now at this point in my life. Maybe that's why.

I wonder if it's because I am so used to images and stories of Caucasian women. White skin as "absence of color." Stories and myths are generally about white women. I've been inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Madeline and various other characters. Maybe most of the dialog I'm hearing is about white women, and white women's issues. Maybe it's the same issue as when only men got to tell the stories, men then were the default normalcy. That's not to say Black women don't tell their own stories, but in my world right now, there is a sad lack of Black voices.

This post took an interesting turn. I wasn't expecting this, at all.

Maybe I am getting ready to get out of the world in my head and back into the real world again.


tekeal said...

wow, she's great. powerful, stong, beautiful. the quote makes me automatically hear bobby mcferrin doing a rendition of this song which i heard live in toronto when i was a teenager. he was alone on a huge stage & the audience was absolutely enthralled, enraptured. i like the connection of his amazing musicianship and the valor of this FG.

ceejay said...

She's wonderful! I'm so glad that Natasha posted the link on her blog. I also loooove that you can see the layers of the first painting, it adds mystery and depth.


Karen Mowrey said...

Rowena, you know I love this flying girl. The wings and the idea of wings has always won my attention. It reminds me so much of my Crow and happily ever after from the big draw.

I am as white as they come probably but totally agree with the lack of hearing black voices and more currently black stories. I would so love to know what you, as a teacher and writer, feel about book banning. I mean I read Huckleberry Finn and "Of Mice and Men" in school amongst others. I just looked at a book ban list and am shocked at all the books on that. If anything these books led me to becoming more human in developing a sense of empathy and pride for how far we have progressed. Does banning books seem right? To hide hide what Maya Angelou has to say??? Now that I am a mom it becomes a concern. I understand age appropriateness but if we are going to ban certain books from schools why not add history books to the list as well and go live in "Wonderland" with Alice.

mapelba said...

Oh, you're questions about race in your art! A lot to think about, but the best place to start is in knowing to even ask the question. I'll be interested in seeing you find the answer.

Genie Sea said...

I absolutely adore Blackbird! The movement, the pathos, the flow, the extension, the contrasts! I can go on and on.

Our society has been up until recently too focused on one perspective. Art, history, science, politics, philosophy was "whitewashed". We are only now coming out from under it. Give yourself time. Your voice, your expression, your art, are all parts of you. :)

Kate Lord Brown said...

She's beautiful Rowena, whoever she is. Love 'Blackbird' - that and 'Here There Everywhere' are all time favourite Beatles songs. x

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