Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Private art teacher

as of february 1st, 2011 i'll be accepting new clients for private art lessons in drawing, painting, and art history! i have been an independent artist and instructor for over three years, with a bachelor's degree in studio art, and i am currently pursuing my master's is art education. my paintings have been shown in galleries and art shows in and out of boston and i am enjoying a second year contract position as an educator of the worcester art museum. i bring an enthusiastic, professional, and detailed approach to any lesson. for more information please contact me at, swartstudio@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


as the director of youth programing and his staff finalize the winter and spring semesters at the worcester art museum, i'm pleased to confirm as of this posting two classes i'll be teaching!

starting january 11, 2011, FUNdamentals of Sculpture, 11-13 years old - students and i will start with basic sculpting materials and tools to produce individual pieces of art inspired by various works exhibited at the museum. as the semester progresses so will the creativity! surprises are in store for all involved as this learning experience expands a child's imagination and basic understanding of the fundamentals of sculpture!

starting march 19th, 2011, Painting Intensive, 14-17 years old - for the serious artist looking to perfect his/her skills and hone their talent in ways to prepare them for college, art school, and beyond. using my own personal and professional experiences as a student and artist, as well as historic stories of artists highlighted in the museum galleries, i will begin to introduce the career of the artist with its challenges and great rewards. a regular sketchbook will be kept, weekly critiques conducted, and work outside class will be assigned. a variety of techniques, tools, and materials will be used before each student begins one final piece to be shown in the musuem student show in mid spring.

also, starting as of february 1st, i'll be taking on new clients for private art lessons in anything studio art related or tutoring in art history. more on that later in the week!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Top 12 dating tips

these dating/meeting men tips have been gathered through various experiences, personal and those of close friends and family. dating can and should be FUN, but always be safe and insure you're totally comfortable in any given situation (nervousness or butterflies aside). half the men i've gone on dates with proved worth my while for the stories alone!

1. be confident! focus on all the positives you can bring to the date or a relationship. if you don't love yourself, then you're hardly in a position to be looking for love elsewhere.

2. this ties into #1, be yourself. trying to be someone you're not is stupid, plain and simple.

3. let HIM come to YOU. brief eye contact and a smile will be an invite for him to pursue you. playing hard to get helps to show that you're worth effort so long as you don't pretend to be unattainable.

4. if you're not interested in someone's advances and he won't take subtle hints, tell him you're a lesbian. i'm kidding! explain to him he doesn't stand a chance, but you'll take the drink he's offering nonetheless and walk away as you say, "thank you."

5. dress for success and according to your size. i'm a big advocate of self expression through fashion, embrace your curves or lack of. that being said, i'm an even bigger advocate of --

6. being healthy! you don't have to be ripped with muscle to show that you take care of yourself. smoking and heavy drinking are big turn offs. following a moderate diet with daily exercise can do wonders for your self esteem.

7. a first date should be held in a location where conversation can flow with little distraction. that is, unless the date begins with an activity and you make time for more personal time afterward.

8. if #3 isn't happening, then casually approach him. SOME people think shy is sexy. Not me ...

9. never base attraction on pure physical characteristics. sexual attraction is essential, but consider his level of intelligence, humor, and heart.

10. absolutely do not sleep with him on the first date. you don't want a reputation for being easy.

11. moisturize regularly - elephant skin is so not sexy.

12. too much cologne kills a good thing and find a signature scent (or two) that you can stick with, but nothing cheap.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Confidence and bullying, oh and art class

the issue of bullying seems to be the "it" topic in the media. hopefully this means drastic measures will finally be taken by everyone to end this form of particular abuse. what i've found most frightening is reading stories of youth and teen suicides as a result of constant bullying. no child should be made to feel less than anyone else -- no matter what. when i was a kid i was very shy and eccentric and despite my parents efforts to quell my unique creative outlets (through fashion, drawing, painting, dancing, etc.), I had other members of my family and teachers who embraced my unique outlook on life and what's more, encouraged me to be different. sure older or bigger kids (i was always the shortest and for a time, the fattest, in every grade of elementary school, plus you add jesus freaks for parents and well --), but i didn't let anyone talk down to me. and i'd be damned if i let anyone do it to someone else (too many comic books, i had to be everyone's hero). it's mainly because of my aunt and my grandmother i am who i am today and i can be confident and proud that i'm different. i embrace my individuality and strive to teach that in my students during art class. i am a confident, happy person because i like myself. i want my students to feel the same way. there is absolutely no bullying or anything of the sort in my classroom/studio and i make it a point to explain why at the end of a long project we have a constructive round-table critique with the entire class. art class should be a place of unity where the geek, the jock, the shy one, the popular one can all coexist together in harmony. sue me, i grew up watching the breakfast club over and over again.

that brings me to the present as i begin building a new program of art classes with a basis of building confidence in students as, yes artists, but also as human beings. i often try to find images or music to help set the scene or create a probable environment in the studio based on every lesson. it's these subtle touches that can sometimes make all the difference. unfortunately i've come across more or less of the same thing, with beauty not in the eye of the beholder, rather the continuation of a very fake and plastic society. it's sending the wrong messages to kids and undermining everything i'm trying to build (and i just can't have that)! for example, bruno mars' new video for his song, just the way you are. a wonderful song that talks about loving a person for themselves and nothing else, yet in the video the singer is professing his love through his song to a drop dead gorgeous woman of paragon virtues -- why wouldn't he love her when she's so gorgeous to behold? i would have loved to have seen mars use a beautiful woman who doesn't have the ideal figure to show young men and women his words are true, "-- you're amazing just the way you are." i will continue to applaud christina aguilera for her song/video titled, beautiful. aguilera uses real people to show we're all different, but that we're, "beautiful, no what they say--." why can't we see more of this in popular culture? hopefully with people paying more attention to the effects of bullying, we'll see more positivity and confidence building in our music, television programming, movie watching, and celebrity publicity.

there is one event i hope that all who read this will participate in. on october 20th, in memory of those who have taken their life due to abuse because of their homosexuality, everyone will wear something purple. this brutality has to stop and we need to stand and speak out against it -- TOGETHER.

for more information on how to prevent bullying please go to, http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/kids/.

this post is dedicated to aunt sis who let me be me (a unicorn/wonder woman/cher loving boy unashamed to speak his mind)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Upcoming outreach events

the worcester art museum is starting to fill up my calendar with local events to attend as i host a table to entertain/educate attendees with mini-art lessons and fun projects. the goal of my presence is to draw more people into coming to visit this wonderful museum that offers so many various programs suited for everyone from in and around the worcester, ma area. see my current list of events and check back regularly as it's sure to grow in the coming weeks!

September 11th, Blackstone Canal Fest
September 19th, stART on the Street
September 25h, Main South Summer Neighborhood Festival
October 17th, Boys & Girls Club: Arts In the Afternoon

Community event announcement

worcester, ma has become a third home to me with all of the community outreach work i do as an instructor with the worcester art museum and i'm eager to see the city grow and prosper as a community of its size should (its the second biggest city in new england). through my work at WAM i've seen the best, and definitely the worst that is offered by worcester. unfortunately racism is still a strong factor in the city and threatens to undermine many of the chances of fulfilling the dreams that my students deserve. but thankfully there are like minded individuals who want to see that change. dr. ravi perry of clark university and other community leaders are coming together to formulate a plan based on affirmative action in an effort to organize the city's people. on september 9th, i'll be there at this roundtable event as a representative of the worcester art museum, but also as a concerned patron of the city i now consider a home away from home.

for more information on the Race In the Woo: A community roundtable, click on this link.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Holding nothing back

a key point in the process of a painting for me is the initial jump start, usually inspired by a song or image that germinate an idea for a stellar piece of art all my own. often times it's several songs and the music videos that correlate with each that become a play list for a series of several pieces that come together in my studio. this past weekend was intense in the regards that i've learned a lot about who i am as i've begun putting myself out in the world again after several weeks of breaking up with my ex-partner of three years. what follows is how i divided up my weekend into music. some songs absolutely describe what was pouring out of my brain or heart, others are more for the mood that can be used to describe an experience, and some songs are used for the narrative of others who were participants of my friday to sunday excursion. i'm curious to see what develops in my sketchbook and on blank canvases as i continue to listen to this weekend play list. the list is still a work in progress, but for now, this is what has developed.

friday morning

1. 'Since You've Been Gone' - Kelly Clarkson
2. 'Spotlight'- Jennifer Hudson
3. 'Looking For a New Love' - Jody Watley

friday night

4. 'Can't Handle Me' - Flo Rida
5. 'Speak 'N Spell' - Elin Lanto
6. 'Not Myself Tonight' - Christina Aguilera

saturday morning

7. 'Can't Beat the Feeling' - Kylie Minogue
8. 'Upside Down' - Diana Ross

saturday night

9. 'Take Your Time' - SOS Band
10. 'Go Deep' -Janet Jackson
11. 'Cooler Than Me' - Mike Posner
12. 'Whatya Want from Me' - Adam Lambert

sunday morning

13. 'Love Don't Live Here' - Bananarama
14. 'I Hate You So Much Right Now' - Kelis
15. 'Behind Those Hazel Eyes' - Kelly Clarkson
16. 'We All Sleep Alone' - Cher

August Weekend Playlist '10

Monday, August 9, 2010

Album review: Jody Watley, "Flower"

i’ve been a fan of jody watley since my youth, when this amazing artist first struck out on her solo career from the popular, shalamar. my mom, my aunt, even my regular babysitter were all fans of watley which ensured that I kept up with her career through the ‘90s. But somehow, I never discovered watley’s album, “flower”, so imagine how surprised I was when I found it on itunes! After some digging i found that the album was meant to be a comeback for jody watley, but problems with the label prevented a states-side release and prompting watley to almost decide on a musical retirement! After getting the album downloaded onto my ipod, i can understand watley’s frustration – this is an AWESOME album.

i received this album at a perfect time in my life as i was just separating from my partner of three years and for the first time in a LONG time, striking out on my own. “flower” is almost an echo of my own personal journey from start to finish as watley soulfully sings of love, passion, unfortunate breakup, but later emancipation, and inner strength. the ballad, ‘just one more time’, is ripe with such strong emotion and beauty that I thought I would cry at first listen, and – whitney who? ‘if i’m not in love’ is yet another powerful love song to add to the lengthy list owned by jody watley. watley doesn’t shy away from her dance roots either, ‘off the hook’, and ‘baby tonight’, are sexy tunes one can’t help but want to get down to!

i’m VERY pleased i now own this album and what’s more, that watley continues to produce quality music to this day. “flower” is a definite step between jody’s “intimacy” of 1993 and 2001’s “saturday night experience” -- highlighting the evolution of this inspiring artist. It’s been several weeks since I first obtained, “flower”, and i continue to play the album on regular basis for whatever mood I may be in. it’s THAT good.

five out of five stars.

Album review: Jody Watley, "Intimacy"

i vaguely remember listening to this album in my youth – i think it was a CD owned by my babysitter, mary, who fueled my love of jody watley. not owning it personally now as an adult has always tugged at me since i lovingly own all of jody watley’s more current material. so finally, early one Saturday morning, i downloaded it from itunes. i instantly remembered two of the tracks through their music videos that had aired on tv, two classics of the ‘90s from my childhood, ‘when a man loves a woman’ and ‘your love keeps working on me’. i didn’t realize it at the age of nine or ten, but ‘when a man loves a woman’ is powerful poetry with a heartfelt message from watley herself to all men and women. I applaud the artist’s unique approach with this song in an era full of violence and obnoxious decadence. “intimacy” is slightly dated with its house club beats, but for the most part, this record is a sexy and playfully soulful journey from start to finish. the ten tracks were perfect for my leisurely saturday morning at my pool and will work for a more romantic setting some evening with a special someone.

three and a half out of five stars.

Album review: Kylie Minogue, "Aphrodite"

i’ve been anticipating kylie minogue’s new album for some time, ever since it was announced several months back. kylie made me a pop princess years ago with her debut album, “kylie”, and I’ve been a long-time fan ever since. minogue explained that “aphrodite” would be a full return to her pop/dance roots that have made her so famous. i found this an odd comment, because her last album, “x”, was more or less the same. although there’s a definite distinct disco flavor to her latest work, it’s fun and happy, much like the persona of the celebrity that kylie minogue portrays. i like it, but it’s all too much of the same – a little too routine – all one flavor. And some of the songs like, ‘closer’ and ‘looking for an angel’ seem very much like filler between more noticeable songs like ‘get outta my way’, ‘aphrodite’, ‘cupid boy’, and ‘can’t beat the feeling’. ultimately there’s more to like than not, so i’m pleased with “aphrodite” as a whole and will forever relate the summer of 2010 with it for giving me constant opportunities to dance!

four out of five stars.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

EDIT: Album review: Kelis, "Flesh Tone"

the hard and infectious beats of kelis' first single 'aceppella' and the poetic lyrics over poppin' music of, '4th of july', hooked me and i knew i had to purchase the artist's album, flesh tone. looking at the track list with a three minute intro and multiple segues between songs, i was looking forward to quite the experience. unfortunately i was almost immediately disappointed upon first listen. "almost" being my key word, because there are a few tracks that i enjoy, but ultimately the album will remain a forgettable list of electronic dance songs on my iPod. i enjoyed following kelis' journey of self discovery and independence through her music of being a single woman and a new mother. 'brave', being the most dynamic track, is a song co-written by the singer and produced by benny benassi and will.i.am. songs like '22nd century' and 'scream' are fun, but not quite as dynamic as i was hoping. while these songs will remain on constant replay in the upcoming weeks on various personal mixes for the end of the summer, i'm finding fewer words to describe the album as a whole. there just isn't enough diversity to go further into detail about, flesh tone.

three and a half out of five stars.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer art 2010

i've begun to upload some pictures taken of artwork created by my summer campers of the worcester jewish community center. i've been incredibly impressed by the creativity of each individual and their eagerness to learn. it's been hard work, but a great summer! the final piece you see is a "memory book" dedication to me as, "the best art teacher ever!!" with a detailed drawing of my favorite super heroine, wonder woman!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The evolution of my painting process

recently it seems friends have grown more curious to the evolution of my paintings. unfortunately, there's no easy way to explain as every painting's origin is different. i've promised to document the creation of my next piece in more detail, but for now you can see the formation of my oil painting on canvas "My Real" which was on display at the worcester art museum the winter of 2009. i'm not normally a still life artist (i prefer the human form in one fashion or another), but this was an attempt at getting back to form (well, sort of, obviously i added my abstract twist). i was successful in some aspects and ultimately failed in others. one never stops learning. what's not shown are the original painting and photographs of the pieces i used for reference. in the future i'll post a strict still life painting i did using the actual objects. i'm sure you'll see a difference between the two.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 2011 BET awards jody watley campaign

the BET awards ceremony has long-time been a remarkable annual event that highlights african americans and other minorities in various fields of entertainment, particularly music. a campaign has begun to showcase the career of longtime performer, jody watley. read my letter to BET below,

The 2011 BET Awards Jody Watley Campaign has begun and I fervently hope you consider this growing group of Watley fans' single request to spotlight the talent of Ms. Watley!

I became a fan of Jody in the late '80s after she had already started as a solo artist and have continued to follow the amazing artist's career as a Grammy winning entertainer and entrepreneur of her own independent label, Avitone Recordings. Through her inspirational music, ground breaking music videos, her dancing, her latest tweets, and even her current StyleFile blog, Jody Watley is a woman unlike any other. But Jody doesn't keep this all to herself, no, Ms. Watley has always been an artist for the people, something that can be seen and felt in any of her live performances.

I'm an artist in Boston working as a teacher and I constantly use Jody's fashion style (then to now) and music as a generational and cultural bridge between myself and students that creates a positive buzz for masterful works of art. Jody Watley is still "bad" to young and old! The BET Awards would benefit greatly by showing the world just what Jody Watley means to music, video, fashion, and her fans.

With much respect,

Steven Derrick Wilber

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My ideal of modern feminism

i'm a man who's a feminist. a damn proud feminist. i've grown up with strong women who's personal strength, love, guidance, and patience shines through. many of these women i never knew personally, some are purely fiction, but their confidence and adventures taught me a lot. okay, okay, i realize i must sound nuts, but celebrities like janet jackson, cher, madonna, kylie minogue, and jody watley were striking out on their own in the mid-eighties - theirs was the music my mother (a very independent and strong woman in her own right) was listening to and to what my younger brother and i were exposed to. my obsession with wonder woman also started when i was very young. my mother encouraged my reading comic books as a form of learning education, much of this was done through the adventures of the amazing amazon, a powerful princess my mother herself was a fan of as child. with strong outspoken women like my mother, her sister (my aunt is one of my closest confidants), and grandmother, plus the heavy dose of cher, janet, and the others, along with my following of the regularly published escapades of wonder woman, i never quite saw women as a weaker gender. oh the women in my family would explain to me that 'the outside world' was cruel and unfair, but our family was different and both men and women were absolutely equal and always stood up against anyone who disagreed. i don't quite know if they knew how much of this belief i would hold onto, but hold onto it i have, and what's more, i've reinforced our belief of equality to include everyone. but i'm getting off my subject of modern feminism.

this month, july 2010, dc comics released Wonder Woman #600. within the issue the comic book publisher revealed the amazon's first new costume in almost two decades. the makeover is an attempt to modernize a female icon's image that, to many, has stagnated. personally, i loathe the new look, but if it brings more readers to the book, what's more, a greater population of young female readers, then this change will be well worth it. my concern with youth is that there are fewer and fewer strong female role models for young women to aspire to and for young men to admire. who are the madonnas, kylie, and jodys of today? women like britney spears, rihanna, and lindsey lohan have dominated air waves for the last few years for all the wrong reasons. even wonder woman has adapted to a similar look in the fashion of these "celebrities". where is the new generation of feminists?

i asked friends and students of mine, from twelve to fifty-one, their definition of, "feminism". surprisingly, it was the younger interviewees (both male and female) that understood the concept and attitude of girl power. the women over forty seemed to take to heart my questions when i begin quizzing them about former and modern day feminism. clearly, they appreciated someone who sought to know and understand more. as far as a response to a modern day feminist i didn't get a large response, but miley cyrus, beyonce, and even adam lambert (?!) were responses. i'm very surprised that lady gaga was not selected as a feminist by either the females or males that i included in my informal poll, but apparently the entertainer is considered more of a weird hot mess by those i interviewed. yeah ...

my mother is currently in the process of writing an article for a local women's publication on modern day feminism and asked for my opinion. from there, this blog blossomed. i wonder if my ideal of modern feminism is becoming invalid (?) simply because women are finally taking their rightful places in the many arenas of the world. well, that's not completely true in about half the world, but here in the states young women seem to see themselves just as powerful as any male. and while that's superb (and about time!), i feel the younger generation is missing something by not having the same experiences i grew up with. in the meantime, my students will definitely be getting a dose of my beliefs of feminism and equality every time they step in my classroom!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Announcing my fall schedule of classes at the Worcester Art Museum!

in an attempt to keep things fresh, my supervisor/mentor, christopher and i have selected two fall courses of the fall class lineup for me to teach! this fall semester i will be teaching two saturday 5-7 year old classes open to regular and new members, with scholarships available.

the first is, Clay: Poke, Pinch, & Pretend, utilizing a number of clay working techniques such as, slab sculptures, pinch pots, coil pots, and other creative ways to create wonderful and unique works of art. this course begins october 9th, ends december 4th, and runs from 10am-noon.

second, Things that Crawl, Wiggle, & Roar, a multimedia course were students will explore/study real life and mythical creatures and the relationship between the two. the majority of materials used for the course will be recycled paper and plastic products and other reusuable items easily obtained. this course begins october 9th, ends december 4th, and runs from 12:30-2:30pm.

all classes of the worcester art museum begin in a preselected gallery of the museum where the exhibit (loosely) ties in with the day's lesson. my classes have a foundation of art and world history based on the exhibit students and i visit each class and are structured around positivity while enhancing creativity. if you have any questions, please email me at, swartstudio@gmail.com. registration for fall classes will begin in late july / early august at the Worcester Art Museum website.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Latest showing of art

it started as an unfinished piece in college that had been discarded at the back of my studio. almost three years later it suddenly found new life! what you see to the left is myself standing in front of my latest painting, fist on the pulse, on display at the worcester art museum. the idea of the piece came from a conversation between a colleague and i about how music and art can often reflect current events. art in all its forms can teach world history - something i strive to bring to the attention of my students. art often remains on the pulse of what's happening in the world and sometimes really shocks it to its audience. that shock is the point of the piece, there's not just a finger on the pulse, rather fists grabbing the pulse line. obviously there's more to be gleamed from the painting, but i don't want to spoil everything, and i also don't want to cancel a viewer's own interpretation. i will say, the point of my looking uninterested while i hold the iPod relates to the 'shards' of newspaper scattered on the edges of the piece. my next work will also loosely relate to music and art, as well as fashion - hopefully completed by the end of summer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Warming up for summer update

just when i thought i had made up my mind for a summer 2010 anthem two new songs hit the airwaves and i was forced to admit, maybe it's too early to decide on a song for the season. i'll just see what happens as i begin to gear up for pride weekends, bbqs, block parties, and beach excursions. meanwhile, checkout the new song by mark de clive and jody watley as well as robyn's first single off her upcoming album, body talk part 1.

Mark De Clive ft. Jody Watley, "Tonight's the Night"

Robyn, "Dancing On My Own"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Warming up for summer

summer is by far my favorite season, but i have a fondness for this time of year as spring comes closer to ending and summer prepares to begin. there's something about the energy of life that spreads throughout the world, wherever you are, it allows you to really enjoy being alive! the dog and i are enjoying longer morning and afternoon walks and jogs with the unseasonably warm weather and we're so much the better because of it. usually i have one or two major trips planned for the upcoming season, but i've been accepted as a youth art director/instructor for a nearby community center and i'm more energized than ever as i come closer to tackling a role that's destined to be a challenge (i'm basically restarting a dying program from its ashes). it's important to have your skills and talent tested from time to time and to strive for creativity - sometimes forcing yourself to stretch your imagination.

in the meantime, a herald of summer for my boyfriend and i is our penchant for summer anthems. remember a song that stuck with you from your childhood that you just couldn't get enough of and several years later it still invokes those same emotions when you first heard it? we still get excited for that one (or two songs) that we'll play continuously from june to august until the late night parties and long afternoons on the beach slowly end. right now there seem to be a few options for which song we'll enjoy the most in the coming months, but for your consideration i'm offering links to what we're listening to now.

Christina Aguilera, 'I'm Not Myself Tonight'

christina's new song is a forceful blast to critics and haters and empowering to those who want to cut loose once and awhile. the video is certainly controversial for many reasons, but i've deduced that's possibly why i enjoy it so much.

Kylie Minogue, 'All the Lovers'

pure pop and disco, kylie again produces a song that expresses exactly how i see myself, lots of energy, love, and bursting with positivity. the sarcastic b!tch in me loathes my upbeat bubblegum personality, but it's something that sustains me and i've learned to accept all of me (finally).

Kelly Rowland, 'Commander'

last year's summer anthem went to kelly and compadre, david guetta, who teamed up for the song, 'when love takes over'. this fierce jam forces everyone to the dance floor as soon as the beat begins to blare over the speakers and the word, "dance", ominously sounds repeatedly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Res is back, but she never really left!

i want you to think back to your youth. think of the music you were listening to. think of an album or a few songs that really struck a cord with you. try to remember lyrics that spoke to you as a person, to your soul, that REALLY spoke to YOU, or said your words for you. for me, one of the albums that did just that was, “How I Do”, by res. I was probably sixteen or seventeen and res’ sound was unlike anything i had heard before – a combination of rock, funk, a little hip-hop, and strong r&b. not only did res’ unique sound strike me, but her poignant lyrics and smooth, sometimes brass, and always sexy voice told a story that could be meant for anyone. i fondly remember visiting a friend in atlanta, georgia and one night we snuck into an enormous club and one of the many music videos the dj played on the wall screen was a remix of the song ‘They Say Vision’ which remains to this day, one of my all time favorite songs. everyone was clamoring to find out who the artist was and it became a proud moment of mine when i could matter-of-factly explain who res was and how much i recommended the album. a few years went by as i waited for the sequel to this gem, but the waiting never produced any results.

flash forward several years later and i happened upon res’ myspace page and i discovered how the album i so dearly loved never proved to be a chart riser like i had anticipated. i simply chalk that up to res being ahead of her time. through blogs written by this musical genius i soon learned more of the story of how res sought to escape her contract obligations and strike out on her own. as an independent artist it seemed less likely i would ever own another res album. thank god i was absolutely wrong!

late last year res finally released her sophomore album, “Black.Girls.Rock.” i went into listening all ten tracks expecting more of what i heard when i sneaking into clubs as a teenager. this record is not like that, not completely. i admit my initial disappointment kept me from listening to the album entirely over and over as i had its predecessor. flash forward again, this time a few weeks back, as i was preparing a playlist for an art class i was teaching. i came across, “Black.Girls.Rock.” and decided to listen with fresh ears and much to my absolute embarrassment this mostly Rock album – well, rocks times twelve! there’s still a little funk and r&b, but at the heart is the very real res who’s words are given amazing expression. the album serves as a very personal and detailed journal of the last few years of res’ life, allowing listeners to relate and gleam some inside wisdom from the artist’s trials and triumphs. there has been as much growth and evolution of the artist as there is of the woman that is res.

i hope sometime in the near future i’m able to catch res’ live show as it appears she’s performing throughout the states promoting. if i ever get a chance to tell res how much her music has inspired me, touched me as though it were words from a friend, and given me confidence to overcome anything – even at the most bleak of times, then the wait between albums will have been worth it for me. please check out the link below and experience the magic of res’ music! also, check out her collaboration with talib kweli and graph nobel as the band, Idle Warship – amazing funked out jams!

Res' Official Website

Monday, March 29, 2010

Twitter is taking over!

friends often mock me for my addiction to twitter, the online community site dedicated to social networking that allows you to leave a message or "tweet" only 140 characters long. originally i got into twitter to follow my favorite celebrities to keep up with news and gossip direct from the source. later i found it had purpose to keep my other network site profiles like facebook and myspace updated. you can even read my tweets on this blog page! it also seems more people read tweets than their emails or listen to their phone messages now because a tweet must be to the point due to its short length. anyway, it seems twitter is responsible for not just dishing the dirt on neighbors, actors, and musicians, according to the New York Times those of the arts, particularly ballerinas, who up till now how remained mum artists. and apparently not everyone is pleased with what they're reading - check it out!

Ballet Stars Now Twitter as Well as Flutter,
by Gia Kourlas

Friday, March 26, 2010


"Because I walk like I’m rich.
I talk like I’m rich.
I spend like I’m rich.
But I ain't got no money."

"Rich" (fake it til you make it), Lolene

i haven't posted a blog in months and i feel like i need to have something up to show that i'm stil alive and thinking.

ugh, just when it seems i'm finally closer to my goal of becoming a successful art instructor, something gets in the way. what's more i'm finding myself with less time to devote time to my craft, my art, because i'm either so incredibly busy working as an instructor, or i'm too tired to actually focus and work. hours go by and i stare at blank canvases unable to decide on my first paint stroke. i'm sure i'm trying to hard and that eventually it will come, but i'm a very impatient person, especially with myself. i have plenty of plans and dreams, so does alex, but until he completes college and i find the success i covet, well it seems we'll have to continue to pretend we're closer to making it. this is post is surprisingly vague, but i just don't have the energy to press further. i can only just hope that things work out for the best and i'm able to keep my usual positive attitude going. in the meantime, i'll post a picture of me in front of my latest creation, "My Reality".