It seems timely that when I came into the gallery this morning I pulled, what I call a starting palette knife sketch, (see below) and saw a face in the upper left of the page. It immediately guided me to the concept of Courage and Samurai Women & Men.
I saw 2 faces and painted this image with the idea that we all have both male and female traits within us.
I had the honor of meeting Maya Angelou when I was working on a series of Famous Personalities for a show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1980.
She was a tall, young, powerful spirit who smoked and I had asthma so you can image what it put me through to spend time in her apartment in Oakland and take photographs in the midst of the smoke. I think she was nervous about me and I was definitely feeling the same emotions, yet we had a moment in history and I rose to the challenge and so did she.
Fast forward to today and while I was painting this image, I thought of Maya and how she rose to the challenge throughout her life and left all of us the better for knowing her and reading her words.
Now is the time to gather our Courage and face this current global situation with the strength of a Samurai.
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, ‘Oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn’t run away; I rose right where I’d been knocked down."
Maya Angelou, poet, writer, civil rights activist