Tag Archives: watercolor

Barbadian Inspiration

Heidi Berger is a self-taught artist who has been living in Barbados for the last 20 years. Aside from four years of private art lessons as a teenager, Berger learned what she knows about art from researching books about different styles and artists.

The self-awareness and dignity of Caribbean Women are the main topics in her paintings. “The women of Barbados have inspired me with their resilience, their courage, their humor and their compassion, sometimes in spite of adversity in the form of poverty, abuse or lack of education” says Berger. “By painting them as strong, thoughtful individuals I like to show them in their individuality and support their strength.”

Berger pays extra attention to the background of her paintings. She pours layers of watercolors on her paper or canvas and reworks the surface with pastels, graphite and charcoal. She also inserts seemingly random words  to emphasize the power of women.  Her paintings have been exhibited in Barbados, Canada and the United States.

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Expressionist Perception of Grenadian Art

Stacey Byer is a Grenadian abstract-expressionist who uses colorful, bold palettes and heavy brushstrokes to invoke the rich and colorful culture of the Caribbean. With her work she wants to change the perception that art in Grenada is only ornamental and commercial.

“I think painting beaches, boats and sunsets is fine, but you can be a Caribbean artist and do other things”, says Byer. “If I wake up in the morning and eat pancakes instead of bakes, that doesn’t make me less Caribbean. Art is like that too. I can do pancakes and still be Caribbean.”

Stacey Byer - Beauty

Stacey Byer is co-curator of the Women Make Art (WOMA) project, a groundbreaking recurring Grenadian event, featuring solely locally-based female artists. “The art scene here does not truly tell us who we are or might become, as very few of our artists question identity, individual or collective memory. Many of the works produced are for buyers who want images of colorful villages or markets.”

Stacey Byer has a BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. She currently concentrates on illustrating children’s books. Her paintings have been sold Barbados, Grenada, the USA, Europe and Asia.

The quotes in this article were taken form in an interview with Caribbean Beat back in 2012.
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Pioneer of Positive Black Imagery

Untitled acrylic on canvas by Jennifer Lewis "Pepperstone".

Jennifer Lewis (1966-2012) aka Louie Pepperstone created a contemporary, powerful vision of the identity of black Caribbean women. Starting in the late eighties, when positive Afro-Caribbean imagery was not so readily available as today, she pioneered in combining the vibrant, natural colors of her native country Saint Vincent with African themes. The results were portraits of women that empowered black people around the world.

She grew up in London where she studied Jewelry Design at Central St. Martins. Her work was exhibited in several galleries in London and in the Caribbean. The colors, textures, history, religion, and folklore of Africa and the Caribbean were her inspiration. On her canvases she used acrylics, watercolor, relief, print and collage, woven with gold and silver leaf. Most of her work today is in private collections.

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The Joy of Vibrant Colors

Esther Griffith really likes her colors. Using layer upon layer of paint she creates rich, deep, vibrant and expressive colors. Greens and reds are her favorites. “I enjoy using oils”, says Griffith. “They create beautiful, unexpected effects.”

She was born and lives in Trinidad, where she studied Visual Arts at the University of West Indies at St. Augustine. Most of her paintings are portraits, which she shows like masks, resulting in a delightful contrast of hyper realism and abstraction. “I love experimenting with color, form and texture to produce unique effects”, says Griffith. “My paintings are inspired by the vivid features of nature, the earth and its surface.”

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Sheldon Saint shows Bahamian Simplicity, Grace and Dignity

Sheldon Saint is a master in depicting every-day Bahamian life. His quiet, intimate settings are recognizable to anyone in the Caribbean. His subjects seem immersed in what they are doing, unaware of their surroundings. “They look like they have arrested time for their own purpose”, says Saint. “You know that they are not part of an affluent class of people, so you may want to rescue them, or envy them.”

Born in 1971 in Freeport, Bahamas, Saint is a self-taught artist who has been painting professionally for the last 20 years. He paints in oil, watercolors, egg-tempera and conté.

Simplicity, grace and dignity are the main themes of his work. “The colors I choose are not bold and often mimic the simple everyday life of my subjects”, says Saint. “My paintings remind us of the delicacy of our natural environment and how humankind co-mingles with it.”

Sheldon Saint has had several solo and group exhibitions in the Bahamas. His watercolors have been featured in magazines and in books. His work hangs in private collections in the Bahamas, the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, China and Trinidad and Tobago.

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TBT Featured: Impressionist Errol Allen, Jamaica

Errol Allen 2 - Jamaica

Errol Allen (1960-2012) started painting at the age of 8 and is considered one of the main impressionists of Jamaica. His favorite medium was watercolors although he also used pastels, oils and acrylic. Characteristic of his paintings are the colorful pigments applied with heavy brush strokes. His art has been sold to the USA, Canada, England, Germany and Australia. Errol Allen is our featured artist for Throw Back Thursday.

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Art Exposition: ‘Bloodlines’ by Firelei Báez

Upcoming Dominican artist Firelei Báez this week opened her first solo exhibition. It is called ‘Bloodlines’ and can be seen at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Firelei Báez (1981) raised in Dajabón, a hill in the Dominican Republic that borders with Haiti, created several new paintings for this exposition.

by Jorge Cuartas

The exposition explores themes like black culture; Afro-Caribbean folklore; the cultural ambiguity of the Caribbean; and the black resistance movement in the Caribbean and the United States. Báez combines watercolors, sketches and sculptures into unique detailed works of art which blend past, present and future using decorative elements of fashion and body ornamentation.

Bloodlines Highlights

  • Man Without a Country, 2014—A highly detailed work composed of over 144 small drawings that crafts parallels between obscure episodes of history and contemporary social struggles
  • Patterns of Resistance, 2015—A new series of blue and white drawings centered on a textile-pattern created by Báez, using different political references from social movements in the black diaspora in the Unites States and the Caribbean
  • Bloodlines, 2015—A new series of portraits inspired by the tignon, a headdress which free women of color were obligated to use by law in18th century New Orleans

Paintings used in this article:

  1. Those who douse it  (detail)
  2. Man without a country (detail)
  3. Bloodlines (detail)
The exposition will be on view until February 28, 2016, at PAMM: 1103 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, Florida


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