My ART is all about JOY! Having it, Getting it, Feeling it, Sharing it! For the past 30 years, my artwork has been a vehicle that conveys positive messages that require introspective evolution rather than an “outward revolution”. My JOYful images feature a self-biographical “H2oMelon” woman who boasts a crown of natural hair, lives in the moment, and is happy with her curvaceous figure. I use bright colors, feminine beauty and strength. Combined with suggestive titles and words, they urge the viewer to BE in their own Life...! In addition to the purposely varied skin tones that reflect the diversity and beauty of my ethnic heritage, the iconic watermelon imagery is ever present defying negative stereotypes. It is also metaphor for Life! Some days are good- really good…some not…But we have to actively participate in our lives to Live Abundantly. Crack Open the Melon! Now more than ever, there is a universal need for this abundantly buoyant practice of JOY, and pride in self… Particularly amongst people of color. I take My Joy seriously, Yours too!
Dear Luscious One,
I'm so happy and honored you want to know all about me.
My intention is to move a little 'JOY' into your heart, that will grow and you in turn share with others.
I currently create my art from my studio in Oakland, CA.
I create positive African American images in the form of brightly colored original acrylic & watercolor paintings, and functional items. These functional items are meant to be used as talismans of joy.
Subscribing to the belief that "everything will be all right"; they reflect both whimsy and pride of my African American heritage.
I have been painting and exhibiting for approximately 30years now, and it's still a dream come true for me to see my paintings on exhibit and in private collections!
Each completed painting is an exercise in the pursuit of perfecting my own personal style, mastering the chosen medium, and creating my own legacy as an African-American woman. Through creating these images, I have also come to understand my purpose. I hope to move a consciousness of goodness and joy throughout the world by featuring uplifting titles, words & imagery.
Please let me know how I'm doing with this goal will you?
What’s up with the h2omelon?
Every expressed interest about my art, its genesis, and my life is welcomed... There are some questions that I get more than others, so I've answered them below…
How did you come up with your H2oMelon Girl paintings?
I originally started painting the imagery as a commentary on being racially stereotyped. As my life experiences accumulated over the years, I found I couldn’t stay in that negative realm of existence. I choose not to live my life trying to live down to someone else's derogatory expectation of what an African American woman should be.
Aren’t you concerned about the 'traditional' paintings that show Black folks and and watermelon? (Concerned= that it might offend folks)
First... I don’t call it a tradition...more like a long standing Error in judgment that stands lovingly corrected via my images of beauty that have been embedded with uplifting messages for all... And( I know), there are folks that are still 'mad' about the h2omelon.
But why put so much stock in an Error of judgment? I'm not dismissing any of the historical pain caused by the derogatory images of the past that exist ... My images will always offer subtle commentary on racial/ gender stereotypes simply by their existence, but now the h2omelon imagery is a metaphor for Life!
What Are Your Influences?
I'm influenced by colors, conversations, music, and intention. Quite a bit of my paintings are kind of like “super post-it notes” so that we are reminded of how great life is with all that is has to offer - good & bad. I urge the viewer to LIVE a JOYful Uplifted Life!
Although auto-biographical, I also believe that most of my work speaks to a commonality we all share.
Wow, You really like watermelons don’t cha?
So by now I guess you’re saying to yourself – wow- she really must like watermelons.
Yes, I do... but actually, the h2omelon imagery is a metaphor for life. We're all given life, : if I gave you bread and water every day, you'd be alive, but you wouldn’t be living...if i give you a h2omelon and you sit it on a shelf, you still have a h2omelon right? It's not until you crack open that melon, taste it, or get out of bed, and experience things that you're truly living.... Some days are sweet, you share it with others, or talk about how good it was! Others are so so.... and still others are enough to make us crawl back in bed!
I’ve never had a melon so mediocre or bad that I never wanted to try another, just like if you're here today, and yesterday was a bad one...this morning we got another chance to try again.
Like Life, the whole process starts again with a seed too. (notice the golden seeds in the imagery).
Thank you for experiencing my Art, ♥karin