Soulistic Art Expressions

These are personal pieces that I will share on this blog, to the viewers, and to the world. Enjoy, and Share your thoughts and views.

ELLE VARNER at the SHRINE

 

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Last Thursday at the Shrine (@theshrinechi) I had the wonderful opportunity to meet the lovely Elle Varner (@ellevarner). I must say that this woman can sing, a performer and is truly some eye candy. Her voice is raspy, silvery,  smoky, but  also hitting those high pitches that we love.  I caught her doing a few sexy salsa moves on the stage. She opened with “Cold Case” from her sophomore album and performed her hit single “Refill”, “F#@$ It All”, “Don’t Really Want to Dance”, and also “I Only Want to Give it  to You”. I loved how she mentioned that she “love folks that are weird, Chicago is weird, and that she’s weird”. I must say that many individuals have told me on many occasions that I’m weird, strange, quarky, and awkward. The moment that she was having issues with the sound, and talking to her guitar was priceless. I cherished that moment because it was relatively familiar in acts that I do.

Meeting Elle for the first time was nerve reckoning, I felt like I had a frog in my throat which seems to make me talk even lower. I’m pretty sure she probably heard maybe two or three words come from my mouth.  Anyways, I painted a portrait of her, that I knew she would love However, if you look at the image closely. I had a few minor adjustments that needed to be done. While doing this painting everyone looked at it and said “Oh it looks great. It looks just like her”. I knew there were a few issues with this painting. Also this picture was captured and use as reference from her video “Don’t Really Want To Dance” featuring A$AP Ferg. Check it out…

 

Also, here’s a small video of her performance on Friday night…

So,  I was able to get a picture with her, and the painting… she was all smiles. Her new album 4 Letter Word is expected to be released this fall.

[portfolio_slideshow id=11073].

 

 

THE POWER to OVERCOME

Hello All,

This morning I’m in my o1597494_622268121203560_674203880_nffice sitting behind a desk staring at a Dell monitor, typing and wondering…Why? Why am I sitting here? Again! While I am sitting here I perform a list of task such as accumulating staff time, conducting payroll, monitoring budgets,  filing, implementing and running an employment program for a wonderful agency. This agency has an amazing staff…and they work hard. They deserve more…working in the non for profit sector you work for the greater good of your community. You make a difference in individuals lives.

However, I’m viewing my greater purpose and potential. I know that I should be picking up a paint brush, stroking a canvas with bright, vibrant colors that will bring life and influence the next individual to want to create. I will create a valuable piece of artwork that will connect to not just hundreds of people, but thousands and maybe even millions. My art(creations) will be my way of connecting to source, the world, and the people that in it.

Therefore you have Power to Overcomethe power to overcome your situation that holding you captive. Do not blame your circumstances, instead implement a strategic plan, fight, and battle through these obstacles that keep you from true happiness.  Muhammad Ali battled through hate, segregation, prejudices, and discrimination. He became the World Heavyweight Champion. Just imagine what you can become overlooking your obstacles and crowning your achievements and goals. Speak the power of affirmations…YOU ARE A CHAMPION! YOU ARE VICTORIOUS!

 

My point is work hard for the greatest investment of your career…YOUR HAPPINESS.

SOCIAL MEDIA…A HUGE DISTRACTION?

Hello everyone, it’s been sometime since I posted in my blog and I apologize. There’s so many things that has happened in 2013. First, I started this blog, second I began my career as an artist, and I had my first born son. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I was featured in The Chicago Citizens Newspaper.

1468688_10152085665192460_1141409100_nThe year 2013 was fantastic. It showed me that there so much more that I can accomplish this year….and I will. Plans will be implemented and manifested.  There will be several and many updates in the new year. By the way HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2014 is here with more possibilities headed our way.

Let’s FOCUS and discuss Social Media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Youtube (the list goes on) are social media websites. Social Media defined by Wikipedia is an interactive platform that gives people the ability to create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. That sounds about right. Social Media definitely has it’s pros and cons. Do you find yourself logging into your Facebook page after you’ve logged into your computer at work?  Are you tweeting while driving, or even looking through images on Instagram. I know I do. 

Let’s check out one of the PROS of Social Media and how it can benefit you:

If you’re establishing a brand, business, or website you can engage with viewers, generate an audience and develop traffic. In doing this you have promoted and exposed your brand, business, or website to the thousands to earn and generate revenue.  Which is GREAT!

What’s one of the CONS:

According to ProCon. Org one of the Cons to Social networking sites is enticing people to waste time. ProCon.org states that 40% of 8 to 18 year olds spend 54 minutes a day on social media sites.  When alerted to a new social networking site activity, like a new tweet or Facebook message, users take 20 to 25 minutes on average to return to the original task. In 30% of cases, it took two hours to fully return attention to the original task. Some of us spend more time “wasting time” being entertained by social media. Believe me I know.

So is it a major distraction or is it beneficial? Sure we may use it because it’s a source of entertainment, or we may utilize it to develop business relations. Fact is it can be good or bad depending upon how we utilize our precious time with Social Media.

The image displayed is a piece that I’ve created titled ” Social Suicide” . This was piece derived from a phrase and theme of the show titled  “Bread and Circus” which comes from the Roman term “Give them Bread and Circus” that a collective  group of artist called ALLUSWE developed as an artist showcase. Which turned out great. The belief in this phrase is that a well-fed and entertained society is incapable of an effective revolt; thus enabling the government to exploit the populous without a potential uprising. Is Social Media playing a major part in this global distraction?

The Art of Big Shoulders

Art of Big Shoulders Exhibit was showcased at the NYCH Gallery was a success. Visually striking artwork was dedicated to “the Windy City”.  This outstanding exhibit featured artists Phillip Scott, Chantala Kommanivanh, Faith Ann Gilbert, Andrew Ryan Robb, Raub Welch, David Anthony Geary, James Nelson, Brian Golden, and Mark Phillips. For those that were not able to view the showcase,  please check out the gallery. 

I submitted this piece in the show entitled “Survival of the Wicked”. Wicked title eh? Yeah I know, I did some research on the theme of the show. Chicago has several names ” The Windy City, “The  CHI”, “Chi- CIty”, “Chi- Town”,  the list goes on. However, it was a name that I’ve heard in instances, but It never  occurred to me what it was referring to… “The City of Big Shoulders”. How could you not know what that means you’re a Chicago native? you say…. Hey! Chicago is a big city, and in big cities there’s a lot of history. So anyway, I did research, and maybe I became a bit overwhelmed with the idea at first. I could have just painted the Chicago Skyline, and called it a day, but NO. I’m the artist forever, James Nelson of Soulful Artistry. Whew! So in doing my research I came across the poem entitled “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg. 

CHICAGO
By Carl Sandburg
Hog Butcher for the World,
   Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
   Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
   Stormy, husky, brawling,
   City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
   Bareheaded,
   Shoveling,
   Wrecking,
   Planning,
   Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people,
                   Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
         This poem gave me an array of images in my head…so much inspiration. But this inspiration was to create a piece about the “Wicked”, the “Crooked”, and “the Gunmen that killed and got away”. Chicago is not just referring to the working class, but a systematic theory of survival of the fittest for the corrupt. Rather than earn an income the hard and long way, lets do it fast and easy.  I  came across the Notorious Mobster AL Capone, The Black Gangsta Disciples,  Mayor Rahm Emanuel, The Nike Air Jordans, our troubled youth, and the high percentage of violence.  This theme became a discussion of my views and opinions on canvas. I’d like to add more to this piece, so I’m wondering what are your views of ” The City of Big Shoulders”, and what would you like to see added to this painting.
To get a closer look at the painting, “Survival of the Wicked” go to NYCH Gallery at 643 W. 18th st, Chicago, IL.

Increase Awareness About Breast Cancer to “EMERGE”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.  As an artist and a full time case worker for a respite center called Interfaith House. I have assisted and counseled clients with this illness. If you’re wondering what Interfaith House is, here’s a little information. Interfaith House provides residential care for homeless men and women in medical recovery. This 64-bed center on Chicago’s West Side, offers interim housing and support to ill and injured homeless adults. Breast Cancer is one of the  illnesses that a percentage of our female population suffer from.

In dedication to our survivors that have emerged from this deadly disease I have painted a piece titled “Emerge” that will be on display at NYCH Art Gallery on Friday October 11th for the Art of the Big Shoulders exhibit.dies_in_winter1

43rd Annual Pilsen East Artists’ Open House

Art of the Big Shoulders at NYCH Gallery
Opening Friday, October 11th & Saturday 12th 2013 from 6-10pm
Closing Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 5-8pm

 

To get more information about Breast Cancer go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.  for more information to increase awareness and prevention.

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month

Also, Interfaith House is celebrating their 20th Year of Rebuilding Lives! Join them for their Open House, featuring a Celebration of Volunteers, on Saturday, October 12, 2pm – 4 pm!

The Wade Foundation Artwork

Juan Teague-Kirkman, Director of BT & Entertainment at the Hard Rock Hotel commissioned a piece for the Wade Foundation. After meeting Juan at the Listening Party for Janelle Monae she stated that she had a job for me. We exchanged contact information and we were able to discuss the matter of the “job “. I kindly followed up with a message and text regarding the artwork she wanted done.  She asked “Can you do a painting of Dwyane Wade (@DwyaneWade), his mom and sister (Tragil Wade @tragilwade)?”.  She thought that it will be such a great gift to the Wade foundation for the outstanding services they provide to our youth.  Within a time frame or deadline of a 1 day this piece was completed in 9 hours. You’re familiar with the phrase

“You can do anything if you out your Mind to it” 

This quote is SO true. Anything is life is attainable…

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The Wades promotes this same phrase. According to the mission of the Wade World Foundation. The organization (WWF) provide support to various educational, health and family service programs, particularly those that benefit under served communities.

Founded in 2003, Wade’s World Foundation stands on the shoulders of its’ central purpose of promoting the education of children/youth and its’ three focus initiatives of literacy, health and fatherhood. Understanding that his life is bigger than basketball, Dwyane is a firm believer and supporter of the foundation’s motto “Every Child Deserves a Shot.” By primarily servicing the at-risk communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and the South Florida region, Wade’s World Foundation is dedicated to providing opportunities that enable children to overcome challenges, excel academically, and reach their maximum potential.

For more information on the Wade’s World Foundation please go to their website at http://wadesworldfoundation.org/index.php.

The Electric Lady “JANELLE MONAE”

Janelle Monae was as the Dwayne “The Rock ” Johnson would put it “Electrifying” at her Listening Party. It was more like a private concert, but even more like a house party. The connection and energy was so high. Dancing with Janelle was quite similar to like dancing with your buddies at a birthday celebration. She suggested that everyone wears socks or no shoes to dance with her on the turf. This suggestion led to a more intimate and wonderful connection with her vibrant energy.  Her new album “The Electric Lady” hits the stores September 10th with featured artist Prince, Erykah Badu, Miguel, Solange, Esperanza Spalding, Big Boi and Cee-Lo Green.

Also, to view the process of how I created the artwork for Janelle Monae click on the instagram icon to view my page.

Instagram

Check out her recent and offical video featuring Erykah Badu entitled “Q.U.E.E.N.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out My New Creations

Every Week I’ll be posting new artwork.

I’ve been working on this particular piece and cannot seem to give it a name. I’ve been thinking about it, and my imagination seems to run wild every time I gaze at it. It has some comparison with another piece I created called”Rebelle Naturalle”. It’s almost as if it can tell a story between two sisters or a mother and daughter that shares the same religion, and similar occupation. The only difference would be the choice of lifestyle (hairstyle, fashion, values, and living). Then there’s an epic battle of natural hair versus chemically treated hair. Like the scene in School Days by Spike Lee (love that movie). I find it amazing how even one slight difference in APPEARANCE can cause a debate or even a distinction in a single culture. Anyway, give or lend me your thoughts in finding a name for this piece.  To view some of my work go to www.soulfulartistry.com and click on paintings.

LOVE to SIN…Right?

LOVE to SIN

This piece created by LoSIN Teecal Chicago Artist James Nelson is called “LOVE to SIN”. This piece will be featured in his first Solo Exhibit on January 11th at the NYCH Art Gallery x Robotic Minds Collaborative located in the Art District Area at 643 S. 18th street.This work is composed of Acrylic on Canvas..

“We Hate the Devil, but we Love to Sin” are the words inscribed in the background. In order to see these words it must to “Illuminated” with a light source of course. In my journey of spirituality or seeking GOD, I’ve experience such a massive degree of separation with religion(s). It bothered me that when we (humanity) seek a divine relationship with an Omnipresence or Universal entity there’s a catch. In Christianity you must accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Believing this you are “saved or delivered”. Then you must be baptized. Why is this necessary to do in order to have a connection with GOD. WHY?

Also, (quick thought) if you SIN you’re going to HELL. That’s scary isn’t it? Raised in the church seeing images of fiery flames on my skin, and demons tearing me limb from limb everyday. PLEASE SAVE ME NOW!!!! This doctrine that promotes FEAR and CONTROL also disturbs me but that’s another topic.

I have came to understand that the “Universal GOD” dwells within me and in every one of us. We have a choice to believe this and know that we have the same abilities of creation as the creator. The power of manifestation through creation.is in us all.

Are you part of the “CLIQUE”?

Illuminate   Local Chicago Artist James Nelson is capturing the controversial Hip Hop artist Kanye West in this piece called “Illuminate”. This piece will be featured in his first Solo Exhibit on January 11th at the NYCH Art Gallery x Robotic Minds Collaborative located in the Art District Area at 643 S. 18th street.This work is composed of mixed media on a wood panel which gives this painting an illustrative street art look. This piece was inspired by Kanye Wests’ verse in his song “Clique”. Kanye states in his lyrics…

He asked me about my Maybach, think he had the same
Except mine tinted and his might have been rented

You know white people get money, don’t spend it
Or maybe they get money, buy a business
I rather buy 80 gold chains and go ign’ant
I know Spike Lee gone kill me but let me finish

Blame it on the pigment, we living no limits

This piece is called “Illuminate” to bring awareness and enlightenment to our social economic structures. Not to be offensive, but I’ve seen and witness where money tends to go to, and it’s not based upon needs. This concept and mentality has been poured into the African American culture for generations. The”hood rich”scene has been gazed and fascinated upon through the youth in our communities. We love and admire luxurious items in our possessions, but who doesn’t. We envy and follow celebrities from their everyday lives in social media and television shows. We’d rather seek material gain than gain spiritual awareness or enlightenment.  We’ll purchase a car with 22″inch rims for flamboyancy, instead of investing in ourselves, or in our future.

I can go on and on about this behavior that causes distractions in our everyday lives. Let’s re-evaluate or reassess our needs. Instead of using the money we receive to purchase unnecessary materials. INVEST in a potential business that can help you achieve a happier lifestyle. Or better yet, INVEST in your potential (your gift)….Your GOD given abilities. Invest in acquiring more knowledge about how to use your gifts to obtain true happiness. Happiness isn’t gained by having 80 Gold Chains, or a Maybach. In the words of late Bernie Mac “Who you Wit?'”. Who and what clique are you with? Maybe the real question is How will you invest in yourself?

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