Jun 30, 2013

A History Mural (touched up)

(Mural painted on primed center block Approx 8' X 17' )
(University of Connecticut)

Decided to post a photo of a mural I did for the University of Connecticut many years back as a tribute to black history in America. I remember I did little research and a small survey on who I should be included. Well first I went to an African-American professor, the late Oscar Walters from Baltimore and asked what should a Black history mural be about, his answer was a mural on college level should educate. Then I asked campus counselor, Mr Coachman an older gentleman on who was a significant black history figure, his answer Jackie Robinson. Finally, being from Hartford I met with legendary muralist artist and friend Micheal Borders on the execution on creating the mural. Other figures I chose for integrity and because I just liked. My final decision was, from left to right, Jackie Robinson, Fredrick Douglas, Shirley Chisholm, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, A Spinx (history denied), W.E. Dubois, and Muhammad Ali. Symbolically arranged with the strength and daring of Harriet Tubman leading centered, left side history through integrity of character and personality, a fountain spouting clear water left, to the right of Tubman, figures figures who were known for defying wrongs, the end result there blood shed, a fountain spouting bloody water right. In the sky intellect and well being because I associate the stars with mystery and knowledge. Other symbols are three triangularly arranged stars symbolizing the triangle trade  (continent shape stars) and the baseball that reads excelsior. Sadly the mural was destroyed due to campus development and only a photo now exist for young people in the student union. If your ever there you can check it out.

Jun 25, 2013

Twitch A Poem of Fear

Illustration by Darryl Z. Oates)
In your dreary nervous dreams have you ever felt impending doom from fuzzy corners of a room, or felt the nervous drop from a fall you could not stop? Then suddenly you awakened from the fears that left you shaken as you tried to ease your senses in light of periled consequences, because foolishly you dare challenge a force you could not manage? While your poker face delivers inside you only quiver, you barely stood astounded as your precious heart aptly pounded. Then you finally came to realize your hopes had just been stranded, when lady nightmare just had landed.
Poem by Darryl Z. Oates

Jun 23, 2013

Celebration and drawing gig

 (by: Darryl Z.Oates - digitized charcoal drawing)
(not from event)

At a summer out door celebration of a young man's graduation party arranged by his mother doing portraits of guests. The first portrait I did was of the honored young man, who I discovered was a very decent person, and this time I felt compelled to do more finished job than I usually do so I took more time. I probably did ten or twelve total. The family was a strongly religious West Indian family and most friends that celebrated his accomplishment and continued journey were also form his church. As I drew there was light conversation amongst me and the models. Things like 'how long have you been doing this' from them and 'are you from around here' from me. The host was gracious enough to fix me a plate curried goat, chicken and ribs, rice along with a delicious slice of cake. I was happy that everyone expressed enjoyment in their artistic likeness and it was a pleasant event.

Jun 17, 2013

Art Drawing Sketches in Motion

The Movers
(pastel sketches: by Darryl Z. Oates)
At it again, drawing live portraits at an event of kids and adults (most times families) on fathers day. The challenge was drawing the infants and kids when they are shy or hyper active.  In that situation I had to stand up or reposition my head in the direction that the kid decided to move to maintain steady view. Above are not sketches of kids but of people walking by between sessions.

Jun 16, 2013

A Sex Drive Poem

In hot summer heat in August and May salty beads of water gathered in play on hot heated bodies to vanish away. Happened so fast some just gathered and pooled then took crooked rides to unknown places marking their lives by salty wet traces. Despite the sweat that cools in cool breezes it couldn’t cool heat that August heat teases. The heat that played played all day and wouldn’t cool down til’ August loved May. 

Darryl Z. Oates

Jun 1, 2013

The Hustler

 (Still from movie 'The Mack' - Max Julien and Richard Pryer)

The hustler, no not the stuff of old black exploitation movies I mean finding away to make ends meet financially and hopefully with some profit legally and morally. Today I decided to vend out my skills in downtown Hartford at an out door event selling portraiture. It was a marathon charity in Bushnell Park. I brought my cart, what looks some what like a baby carriage full of necessary supplies, chair, sign, marker, pad, and bottle of water in anticipation of a hot day. I sold work at bargain prices to a few families and some individuals. The vast majority there were oblivious to me and just focused on the marathon. Well not much profit monetarily, but I did manage to make a few connections that may lead to better business.