Happy Creativity Thursday – 4/25

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the artwork of Kesha Bruce. I adore Bruce’s work because it marries collage, written words, storytelling, drawings, and painting with memory, personal mythology, and spirituality. When I see her work, I dream and reflect all at the same time!

Photo Credit: Totem for Sistah Johnson by Kesha Bruce - KeshaBruce.com
Photo Credit: Totem for Sistah Johnson by Kesha Bruce – KeshaBruce.com

The Totem Series which features her narrative portraits of hybrid beings is one of my favorite collections. My favorite piece from the collection is a Totem for Sistah Johnson.

Kesha Bruce at Morton Fine Art in DC
Kesha Bruce at Morton Fine Art in DC
Kesha Bruce and Ananda Leeke at Morton Fine Art in DC
Kesha Bruce and Ananda Leeke at Morton Fine Art in DC

In December 2012, I met Bruce in person at the Morton Fine Art gallery which hosted an opening reception featuring her Wrestling with Angels series of drawings inspired by the story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel in the Holy Bible. What a treat! I told her how much I enjoy seeing her artwork, reading her blog, and following her on Twitter. Visit http://keshabruce.com to learn more about her.

Happy Creativity Thursday – 4/18

Photo Credit: FilmfestDC.com
Photo Credit: FilmfestDC.com

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Last weekend, I attended Filmfest DC’s screening of Ballin’ at the Graveyard, a documentary written and produced by Basil Anastassiou and Paul Kentoffio that tells the story of what happens when men come together to play pickup basketball at Washington Park aka the “Graveyard” in Albany, New York.  Click here to watch the film trailer.

Photo Credit: http://ballinatthegraveyard.com
Photo Credit: http://ballinatthegraveyard.com

In the midst of watching Ballin’ at the Graveyard and listening to the men’s trash talking, I learned their weekend warrior basketball adventures are much more than fun and games.  They are fueled by a passionate energy that expresses itself through hours of exchanges on and off-the-court.  Their emotions and experiences paint a tapestry of brotherhood, commitment, community, family, friendship, history, intergenerational bonds, leadership, legacy, mentoring, nurturing, and sharing I hadn’t expected to see.  The relationships they have formed and continue to build are soulful, life affirming, and rooted in a deep love for one another, their community, and pick-up basketball.  This movie has stolen my heart and become one of my favorite films.  Please go see it when it comes to your city. Also, tell others about it.

PS: Be sure to LIKE Ballin’ at the Graveyard on Facebook and follow it on Twitter!

 

Happy Creativity Thursday – 4/11

Photo Credit: SonyaClark.com
Photo Credit: SonyaClark.com

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the work of Sonya Clark, a textile artist extraordinaire who also serves as Chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Clark’s work focuses on her individual and collective identity as an African American woman with Caribbean roots from her Jamaican mother and Trinidadian father.

Madame C.J. Walker tapestry by Sonya Clark - Photo Credit: http://sonyaclark.com/gallery/madam-cj-walker/
Madame C.J. Walker tapestry by Sonya Clark – Photo Credit: http://sonyaclark.com/gallery/madam-cj-walker/

I discovered Clark’s work and featured her Madame C.J. Walker, a tapestry made from black plastic combs, on my Black American Princess (BAP) Living social networking site in 2008. Since then, her work has been an inspiration for my own creative expression. Visit www.sonyaclark.com to learn more about her.

Happy Creativity Thursday 4/4

Photo Credit; Derrick Weston Brown
Photo Credit; Derrick Weston Brown

Happy Creativity Thursday and National Poetry Month!

Today, I am celebrating the poetry of Derrick Weston Brown, an educator and a “people’s poet.”  He is also the author of Wisdom Teeth. Derrick is a dear friend and an extraordinarily gifted wordsmith.

Wisdom Teeth by Derrick Weston Brown
Wisdom Teeth by Derrick Weston Brown

His poetry gets underneath my skin and travels to the depths of my soul. When I hear him read his work, I am stopped in my tracks. Click here to watch his Wisdom Teeth trailer. Be sure to check his book out on Amazon.com. Go on and buy a copy! His poetry will expand your mind! Enjoy!

Who are your favorite poets?

Ananda’s #CreativityThursday Adventure: Fashion Field Trip to Macy’s

Photo Credit: Macys.com
Photo Credit: Macys.com

Since it’s Creativity Thursday, I thought I would take a fashion field trip to Macy’s Metro Center this evening to get some creative tips on the five Spring Essentials I need to enhance my lifestylista wardrobe.

Photo Credit: Macys.com
Photo Credit: Macys.com

I am excited about seeing the Spring Fashion Show and meeting Daisy Lewellyn, style expert, author, and TV personality, who will be sharing her spring style tips. Daisy is known as the “Queen of Effortless Chic.” I hope she brings copies of her book, Never Pay Retail Again.

Photo Credit: www.daisylewellyn.com
Photo Credit: http://www.daisylewellyn.com

I’ll be live tweeting during the event. So follow me on Twitter @anandaleeke. I’ll be using the event hashtag #5Essentials and including @Macys and @DaisyLewellyn in my tweets.

PS: I’ll post a recap blog about my Fashion Field Trip to Macy’s in a few days.

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/28

Photo Credit: www.sawcc.org
Photo Credit: http://www.sawcc.org

Happy Creativity Thursday!

On March 1, I kicked off Women’s History Month with a visit to the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery to see the Be/Longing, exhibition featuring the work of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collection (SAWCC). The Gallery is housed in the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts located in my U Street neighborhood in Washington, DC.

Photo Credit: Smith Center web site - Jaishri Abichandani The Return of Devastasia
Photo Credit: Smith Center web site – Jaishri Abichandani The Return of Devastasia

FIERCE is the best word to describe the Be/Longing exhibition. It is emotional and filled with stories that give voice to the rapture and struggle of fierce identity from the diverse perspectives of South East Asian women. It included the artwork of several powerful women artists: Samira Abbassy, Jaishri Abichandani, Nida Abidi, Amina Ahmed, Shelly Bahl, Marcy Chevali, Ruby Chishti, Chitra Ganesh, Monica Jahan Bose, and Sa’dia Rehman. Click here to learn more.

Did you visit any woman-centered art events during Women’s History Month?

Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/21

Photo Credit: Art Museum of the Americas’ web site
Photo Credit: Art Museum of the Americas’ web site

Happy Creativity Thursday!

During Social Media Week DC in February, I attended the Hispanic Outreach 2013: How to Reach the Highly Mobile and Social Hispanic session hosted by Latinos in Social Media and Bixal at the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) of the Organization of American States.

LATISM panel during Social Media Week DC session
LATISM panel during Social Media Week DC session

The session featured some of my favorite digital sisters: Julie Diaz Asper of Social Lens Research, Carla Hamilton Briceno of Bixal, and Jennifer Lubrani of LATISM. See photo above.

Museum of the Americas web site
Museum of the Americas web site

After the session, I visited the AMA’s exhibition, On Common Ground: Dominican Republic & Haiti which featured the works of emerging artists of Hispaniola, the island that these two countries share. I fell in love with the artwork at first glance! It reminded me of my 2011 visit to Haiti with the Heart of Haiti Campaign. Check out some of my favorite paintings from the exhibition below.

Painting from On Common Ground:Dominican Republic and Haiti exhibition
Painting from On Common Ground:
Dominican Republic and Haiti exhibition
Painting from On Common Ground:Dominican Republic and Haiti exhibition
Painting from On Common Ground:
Dominican Republic and Haiti exhibition

When you are in Washington, D.C., be sure to visit AMA, 201 18th Street, NW (by DAR Constitution Hall).

Have you been to a museum lately?

Which one?

What did you like most about your museum visit?

Are you planning to go to a museum this month? Let me know which one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/14

That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness by Ananda Leeke
That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness by Ananda Leeke

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Every person is born with a spark of creativity that can awaken them to an amazing life. Throughout my life’s journey, I have witnessed my spark of creativity expand through the nurturing support of other artists. Today, I am remembering Tasko Bey, an amazing master artist I met while working as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital. When I met Tasko, he was a patient living with cancer and a graduate student in Howard University’s Master of Fine Arts program. Prior to attending Howard, his work was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Our first expressive arts sessions turned into a mini workshop where he served as a teacher and coach. He even gave me homework. For the next two years, he utilized our sessions as teaching moments. In 2005, he urged me to pick up a pencil and draw and use a paint brush to paint my first series of paintings. He showed me how to tap into my intuition for creative guidance and encouraged me to experiment with watercolor, gouache, and acrylic painting.

Photo Credit: http://columbus.utrechtblog.com/2012/03/
Photo Credit: http://columbus.utrechtblog.com/2012/03/

I fell in love with acrylic paints. As a result, I created a series of paintings that I later used to illustrate my book covers for Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One and That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery. One of my favorite paintings from this series is “That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness.” See photo above. It hangs in my sunny yellow kitchen and reminds me of Tasko and his passionate love of art. Click here to watch a video about the painting (starts with an introduction to another painting and some of my collages) and my art studio. Enjoy!

Do you draw or paint?

Who or what inspired you to begin drawing or painting?

What do you like to draw or paint?

Happy Creativity Thursday – 3/7

Ananda at Walter Reed
Ananda at Walter Reed
Artwork at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center - 4th Floor
Artwork at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – 4th Floor

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the amazing wounded warriors, military families, and hospital staff I get to work with as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts each week at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

I’ve been working as a Smith Center artist since 2002. My work at Walter Reed began in 2010. Since then, I have grown to deeply appreciate the many sacrifices our military women, men, and families make on behalf of the United States of America. I have also been able to witness the fantastic creative expressions of military women, men, and their families. What a blessing!

Art supplies
Art supplies
Wounded warrior's water color painting
Wounded warrior’s water color painting

wr-artwork3

Click here to see photos from my Walter Reed experiences. Enjoy!

When I am not working at Walter Reed, I am always on the look out for creative inspiration. I find it in books, films, magazines, music, social media (Pinterest), web sites, and yoga. This month, I am getting a lot of inspiration from Poets & Writers magazine.

March 2013 issue of Poets & Writers
March 2013 issue of Poets & Writers

What are your sources of creative inspiration?

PS: If you would like to read about my creative journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle.

My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a museum curator and art consultant in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.

Happy Creativity Thursday – 2/28

Kelly Rae Roberts' book
Kelly Rae Roberts’ book

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am celebrating the creative work of Kelly Rae Roberts, an artist, author, and blogger I discovered last year when I was in need of creative inspiration. Kelly’s blog and book, Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings, were a breath of fresh air. They helped me move through some major blocks to my creative expression. They reminded me of my joie de vivre for making collages and encouraged me to make wall collages in my work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Check out several of my wall collages below.

Are you into making collages?

What types of images do you use in your collages?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2012 wall collage
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2012 wall collage
Valentine's Day wall collage
Valentine’s Day wall collage