Self Portrait

A conversation with two crocheters in Split, Yugoslavia, 1977. Our language in common was crocheting. I painted this in August, 2021


In 2010 to 2014 I did a series of Ancestor paintings using vintage family photographs. In July, I reused one of those photos and painted this piece of my mom and older brother Dennis when he was a baby, circa 1944.

Vanilla Beane

Vanilla Beane 1919 – Vanilla Powell Beane, affectionately known as Washington, D.C.’s  “hat lady,” turned 100 in 2019 and is still custom-making hats. She moved to DC and found work as an elevator operator in a building that housed the Washington Millinery & Supply Company. The shop is where Beane would frequent to browse the hats and buy… Continue reading Vanilla Beane

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday 1915 – 1959 Billie Holiday was an American singer best known for her song “Strange Fruit” about the lynching of two Black men in Marion, Indiana in 1930. The FBI and Federal Bureau of Narcotics hounded her and damaged her career in retaliation for refusing to stop singing the song. Links for additional… Continue reading Billie Holiday

Augusta Savage

Augusta Savage 1892 -1962 Augusta Savage was an American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. She was also a teacher whose studio was important to the careers of a generation of artists who would become nationally known. She worked for equal rights for African Americans in the arts.  In 1924 Savage was one of 100… Continue reading Augusta Savage

Zora Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston 1891-1960 Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South and published research on hoodoo. The most popular of her four novels is Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. Additional information: Nora Zeale Hurston website National Women’s History Museum

Nannie Burroughs

Nannie Helen Burroughs  1879 –1961 Burroughs was a black educator, orator, religious leader, civil rights activist, feminist, and businesswoman in the United States. In 1909, she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC. She fought both for equal rights in races as well as furthered opportunities for women beyond the simple duties… Continue reading Nannie Burroughs

Mary Bethune

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune  1875 – 1955 The colors of the portrait are inspired by Alice Neel’s Woman in a Pink Hat. Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist. Bethune founded the National Council for Negro Women in 1935, established the organization’s flagship journal Aframerican Women’s Journal, and resided as president or leader… Continue reading Mary Bethune

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman    1822 – 1913 Harriet Tubman was known as the “Moses of her people”. After escaping slavery, she helped others gain their freedom as a “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. She lead a Civil… Continue reading Harriet Tubman