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Christy’s Nibblet: Journey Beyond Your Limits

Journey Beyond Your Limits 4-23-13When I was able to step out of the darkness and give a face to rape a burden was lifted.  A limit that I had bestowed upon myself was adjusted.  I was  able to move not only around it but beyond it.  After working in therapy and seeking legal assistance to get an order of protection i felt a new freedom.  I did not have to live in fear.  I made a decision to move to a different part of the county and as luck would have it I have fallen in love with it.  The show birthed itself.  I always wanted to curate a show with amazing artists and the details fell into place like magic for this show.
Journey Beyond Your Limits is the reality of my dreams.  We have had the opportunity to curate an art show of three artists that have overcome adversity.  Janine, Sagine and myself have a passion for our craft.  A strong sense of power can be seen from these pieces.  The movement and maturity of the work can be applauded.   These women have put there heart and souls into their work.  They have poured themselves into each stroke and texture chosen.
The spoken word artists are nothing sort of amazingly talented.  “Dear Rapist” was a poem written by Shye Sales and can be found in her book, Salutations to the Dawn. I tell you that poem was written for me and for women like me.  She gave me more courage than she could know.  As I moved forward in the court proceeding I had to face the man who had assaulted me and with her words I found courage. I was struck by the honesty and clarity in Amber’s voice.  Her words wrapped me with warmth and I knew she had to be here.  She wanted to be here with us.  MEWS is a talented women that is a rare find.  She has been blessed in the arts of writing, singing, dancing and acting.  She is a performer for all to enjoy.
The painting is about surviving.  It is about washing the dirtiness away.  The white plays a big role in this piece.  It is loud.  It has a depth to it that demands attention.  It is crisp and has been made that way by a palette knife.  The aqua blue arrives on the scene and is intricately involved with the white. They stand separately and are opaque in nature.  Limits are not translucent in my world.  They are like borders at airline terminals.  The text is central and seems like a title to a book.  It is a title but to our art show.  The title was chosen to honor the women that represent our collection of artist both visual and spoken and the women without voices whom we honor as well.
These women have been chosen and have given their time and energy to bring their talent to Speak Your Truth.  I was a victim of sexual assault.  I found my way out of the darkness through my art.  I was helped by the associations that we are donating to.  I have been on the other end of a help line.  I have read the materials in the for victims without a thought to the cost of the paper they were printed on or their reproduction.  I have been advocated for and by the most caring individual one could meet in a crisis.  When your world is falling apart they help you start to pick up the pieces.
I will say it again and again.  I am a victim one time and that was during the act.  After that I have to build or the rape will continue day in and day out.  The struggle is not over and it may never be over but a victim is not a name I claim.  This is why I can put my face to this issue because I am not a victim.  A victim once; A survivor for life.  Choose to survive!

Christy’s Niblet: Faith

Faith is tangible.  It can be touched and is every time I lift my paint brush to the canvas. Faith fills space and time.  It has the capacity to live in your body and your mind.  Faith has a breath all of its own.  It has an aroma that is as sweet as a lavender field. Faith is inviting if we are willing to RSVP.

Faith 1
I have placed my faith in lovers and jobs but none of these held answers or solace.  None of them gave me peace.
My first” Faith” painting illustrates my reaching process.  It was birthed in Seattle; the first home my wife and Speak Your Truth lived. Faith can sit on top of desperation.  After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and moving across the country; desperate was a feeling that I was accustomed to. The text in this work mimics this idea; it sits on top of the canvas.  This “faith” moves away from the canvas and becomes 3 dimensional.  The letters are rolled into existence as if a dough being kneaded.  The pink, lavender  and mint green grow and build together with an instinctual quality.  Instinct has caused me to put faith in the wrong places and the wrong people.  However I reached.
The” Faith” painting that is featured in the Seven Ways to Sunday Collection was inspired from a sermon and a song. This painting is more about confident faith.  The faith that works under all circumstances. The anchor is chosen as an iconic representation of this idea.  The letters are flush to the canvas.  The colors are smooth and wash over the piece in a calm movement.  It moves the eye in a circular path with the anchor as the focal point.  The blue absorbs the pink that surrounds it.  The pewter acts as an accent and quiets the magenta hue that is also present.  The anchor is the embodiment of the way I feel about my faith today.
I have faith in my body and what it tells me.  I listen to the gnawing feeling when I know that the doctor has missed something.  I pray in faith that my petitions are heard.  Through meditation I have learned to listen in silence. You may enter life circumstances with layers of fear but with action we can be cloaked in a coat of faith.  If faith could be administered intravenously that would be easy but we must seek it.  You can even borrow someone else’s faith. Faith is so real that it can be shared and I share it through my art.  These two “faith” paintings were created from two different mindsets, on two different coasts and with two different techniques. They are both sculpted and engage the viewer.  Faith is an engagement between you and something or someone else you can depend on.  Have faith.  Be engaged in action to seek faith.  If all else fails find a friend and borrow their faith. As for myself I am anchored in something other than me.
Faith 2
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Christy’s Niblet: The World

February 14, 2013,  the world seems to be filled with flowers, candy and various hues of red.  On this day I am led to a room where there is a gown waiting for me and I look out the window and see a beautiful view of Manhattan. The world looks so busy frThe Worldom up here  and the people they look a little happier than usual or sadder it is Valentine’s Day after all. At times the world for me is the inside of another exam room, a doctor’s waiting room or my personal favorite in the ER.  Since I was diagnosed with MS my world has changed significantly.  I used to work full time in a very active job and on most days my decisions were dictated but what I wanted to do not the amount of energy I had.  This day they were looking for a good vein for an upcoming surgery.

My twenties were filled with the 3 D’s, Dancing, Dating and DRAMA.  That was my world and I loved it. I was working the night shift at the hospital as a tech and I was still pretty green. After a dinner party with friends I took of my Coach shoes off and no doubt an outfit only fitting for a diva.  I changed into my scrubs and prepared for bedpan duty. I was happy with my life.  Who could have it better than me.   It did get better on November 11, 2008.  I met a woman and with my twenties gone I was ready for what the world would have in store.  I wondered would this cute fiery Latina stay in the picture well she did and became my wife in the state of Connecticut on August 21, 2009.  Five short months later as newlyweds we were told that I had Multiple Sclerosis. The evening that my world collapsed I was at the end of my shift at the hospital and had to pick up my wife at the train.  My body felt numb and tingly.  When I arrived at the train it was obvious that something was very wrong.  We entered the ER and I became the PATIENT.  After that day I traded in my scrubs for paper gowns and Coach pumps for sensible shoes.  The geography of my life morphed into something unrecognizable.

The Silent Brick Collection includes a painting entitled “The World”.  Geography is what this painting speaks to.  The impasto technique is used to build the  terrain and the water’s waves articulate all that changes around us.  Change is fluid and constant.  A wave can not crash the same way twice.  The blue and gold compliment each other.  The thickness of the gold evolved into continents and the blue became an ocean and thus the world was formed.  In truth I can pick up a paint brush and know exactly what I want to paint and what feeling I want to convey and end up with something entirely different.  This was one of those cases.

The world and its workings are  beyond my scope of understanding.  My world can be as aggravating as trying to get a parking space at the mall at Christmas time. At one time we were all a fetus and the only world we knew was the protection of our mother’s womb.  A jail cell with a prison wall to match might be the world of another.  The world of a high school student where everyone calls you anything but your name but everything to make you feel less than human. We live in the outside world and our inside world maybe crumbling.   I think we all feel that way at some time or another.

My world can be as big or as small as I want it to be.  It can be continents of despair and waves of self pity as my disease washes over me.  It can also be waves of happy moments and continents of laughter and joy.  My world can be confined to my the next operating room or the gift I get when I open my eyes and look at my wife sleeping.  We have a choice in the world we live in and how we perceive that world.

I will be having surgery April 19th for an AV fistula.  My body is being prepared for dialysis.  I share this because I need prayers.  This is a new world for me to enter and I expect will be a long haul until I receive a kidney transplant. Thank you.

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Christy’s Niblet: The Haze of Silent Bricks

As I listen to Jim Hendrix play “Little Wing”, the guitar chords vibrate through my being.  He was a genius with his instrument.  He had a love for the guitar and music.  He reminds me of college and the smokey dorm rooms.  Can you smell it ? Someone is puttng a towel under the door. Lol.  Do you remember the times when your most profound thoughts about the world came through a purple haze of sorts.  The universe has jokes as my wife says.  I get a notice that my MS group is having a meeting about the use of medical marijuana.  Isn’t that ironic?

Purple Haze is my commentary on a simpler time.  It is in the family of silent bricks.  I was interested in exploring thickness on the canvas.  The acrylic colors are dark but the lighter shades give breath to the scene.  The colors cluster in a way that feels like fresh flowers on your wedding day. And yes I do love the song from Mr. Hendrix. By the way, I met a poet that shares that name and she has some slamming thoughts to share with the world.
 Purple Haze
I was reminded by a friend of the comfort of my college days and the realization that they are long gone.  My mind can be hazy and confused.  We can have many dilemmas and issues.  A real issue on a college campus that is not always addressed is the incidence of date rape.  These young adults are experimenting with drugs and alcohol and maybe for the first time. Hearing no they proceed as though they heard yes. Then they will claim later that they were in a haze but a young girl may wake up and realize something has been stolen from her and I do not mean her wallet.
Speak Your Truth wants to spread the truth.  I was a victim of date rape and I wish I could say that was the only time I found myself in that situation because it was not.  Our May 4th event is to benefit two non profit organizations that aid victims of sexual assault.  It is likely that sometime this lifetime this issue will effect you or someone you love.  So don’t find yourself in a haze.  Be clear.  Join us for our event.  Be around survivors and listen to spoken word of extraordinary powerful women.  Go to speakyourtruthinfo.wordpress.com for more information.
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Christy’s Niblets: My First Painting

Eleven that was the age that I began to feel different.  It was when the teasing began.  Fat jokes and racial slurs became apart of my daily routine.  I was always the only one amongst the majority. I was looking for a way out of my feelings. I was not interested in boys like the other girls, and my first kiss had me wondering what all the fuss was about.  Where do I put my hands during this kiss, and when will it be over. I hid the tears inside because that was a sign of weakness. “Never let them see you cry”  at all costs I would hide my feelings.

My first kiss was not my first love but with my first true love I knew exactly where to put my hands.  I was 11 years old with my coca cola sized glasses, and peering through National Geographic something caught my eye.  I had always loved pictures but this one was amazing.  My art teacher had given us and assignment to copy something we saw in nature.

Image“Mystical Swamp Waters” was my first painting.  I saw the shapes in nature and sketched them on the canvas.  It just made sense. I broke down the picture plane into shapes and than added color.  This has always been my generic formula.  It worked for Picasso in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which is a painting that I love.  I am not Picasso. But I learned to reconstruct the picture plane at a very young age and had the ability to create what I saw into something uniquely my own.  I had no formal art training. This is me raw.  By the time I got to college I had a style, and my mentor helped me to develop and cultivate my work.  In short they taught cohesive maturity so that when you went into the art world you were somewhat prepared.

My first creations are predominantly brown and rocky in nature. There is a sense of depth in the paintings. But I am not sure how I achieved this at a young age.  I gaged all of my judgements by eye. The smell of the canvas and certain brushes began to be favored as I fell deeper into my relationship with my art.  It was a process learning about myself in relation to my art, and would at times drive me to distraction of all things good and bad alike.

I was asked to be a part of a show in Newark.  The new works are coined as faith based and the title of this collection is “Seven Ways to Sunday”. I was nervous and scared about how the paintings may be received.  “Seven Ways to Sunday” has been influenced heavily by the sermons I have heard in church or the choir selections that have moved me.  I felt as though I was putting my spirit out there naked.  After the spoken word portion that was nothing short of enough spiritual energy, and healing for the whole room and, more.  I heard people talking about my paintings. They were looking at the paintings that I had created, and saw things that I did not intend to be there.  I usually chuckle but I am now realizing that is how God is getting the message across.  As I grow in years and in my spiritual life I have come to realize that it is not all about me. I am the instrument.  It is not for me to dictate someones experience of my work.  People see what they need to see. Academia refers to this as a reactive audience. The theory sates that any reaction is better than no reaction.  My goal today with my work is that the audience have an experience personal and unique to themselves.  They do not have to share my vision but I want them to have their own.

Mystical Swamp waters was truly the beginning of my escape from all that I was running from.  It was a way out.  It has become a way in.  As I look back I could attribute my life being saved to a number of people and circumstances but my art was a constant.  I found a healing in those muddy waters and drifted into clarity.  It still ebbs and flows and the horizon is still the horizon but it is from a different perspective.  Eleven was when I began to see nature as a beautiful gift to be shared.  I knew even than that I did not create such beauty that someone or something else did.  My praise and worship began with my hands on a brush. When I had no words God gave me eyes and colors and hands so I could communicate my feelings.  At 34 I have art, writing, and words to speak my truth.  Thank you for allowing me to be your instrument. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise”  Matthew 21:16

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Christy’s Niblet: I Tried

I TriedLet’s face it most people look forward to Friday as their freedom day.  The I Tried painting is in homage to my wife who works so hard to make a dollar out of 15 cents. “I tried” is a lyric in a song entitled Good Friday by The Black Crowes.  How does this relate to my seven days to Sunday you ask?  Music serves as a way to move closer to my higher power.  My wife’s obsession with the Crowes caught fire in my soul and I could hear the spirit.  I watched it in her as she would dance and sing their songs.  She will have the opportunity to hear them in concert and meet them.  It is her life’s dream.

The amazing part of this life thing is watching others get to their Sunday.  So when my wife asked me to paint something for her I was perplexed.  She is my muse in every way, shape and form.  Marrying her is like my Sunday over and over again.  The eye in the painting is a representation of hers.  Her large eyes and beautiful lashes enamoured me from the start.  I started trying from that moment forward.  To try is an action word.  Trying is not stagnant.  If we are trying we are going some where.  It is when we are not trying that we are stuck.

Many moons ago I heard a nun who was a terminal patient talk about her life.  She spoke of her life as an African American Catholic nun and the adversity she faced.  She was called to follow God but she said the journey was not easy.  She said that on her tombstone she wanted two words. That’s right. “I tried”  It was the most profoundly spiritual thing I have ever heard.  All we can do is try.  We are not perfect andwe were not meant to be.   That perfection we seek may only be fulfilled on the other side.  If you believe in that kind of thing.  I know I do.  I try and I hope you do to… to find your Sunday that is.
This Friday I will be showing new works in a new genre that I have coined faith driven art.  It consists of the collection Seven Ways to Sunday. All the paintings are for sale and as we say at Speak Your Truth it is affordable art for the soul.  Please join us for the group show in honor of Women’s Herstory Month.  Please click on this link for more details: http://speakyourtruthinfo.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/christys-niblets-author-is-showing-in-newark-nj-on-march-15th-at-630-pm/.
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Christy’s Niblets: Freedom

Freedom 2-26-13“Yes it is.” A friend said when she entered my house and saw the painting Freedom is Expensive.  As a creative person my freedom has been articulated through my brush strokes, the colors and the mood of the work.  Art has always served as a way for me to be in my head if you would.  The brush allows me the ability to get involved in the details.  I get acquainted with the canvas and the colors.  There is much thought that happens in my head before I paint and there may be a concept but no body.  Therefore I am free to go where the brush takes me and and let the colors dictate to me as opposed to the other way around.  Paintings of this nature create themselves.

Freedom is Expensive was a message I received from a sermon.  The green is literally meant to translate into a material concept of money.  Money does not equate freedom.  At least not the kind I am referring to.   The gold is wealth and abundance both of which you can have without a penny in your pocket.  The gold however was difficult to apply to the canvas.  This ink was especially beautiful but heavy and delicate at the same time.  The words were time staking to make and make but I felt strongly about the message.
At moments I liken my self to Stella as she was getting her groove back but instead of putting in braids and running on sunny beaches.  I cut my hair, have been engaging in a fulfilling yoga practice and working my marriage.  I got my groove back.  Sometimes you do not know freedom until you get a taste than you crave it.  Getting to that place can be costly emotionally, spiritually and physically.  It was all three for me. I  was a bird in a gilded cage but now set free. I  fly.  Be supported by a family of origin if possible but let a family of choice always to be the wind at your back.
Freedom is Expensive but you can keep it as well as give it away.  Today I keep my freedom.  My art is my expression of that freedom body, mind and soul.  Panting inspired and dedicated to Pastor Kevin Taylor UFC, Seven Ways to Sunday collection.
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