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Monday, 20 July 2009

A Little Sugar in My Bowl

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I have developed a recent obsession with Nina Simone’s music. It’s so pure. A little odd though. But real. The way heartache and joy seem to unite into something bittersweet and necessary in Simone's songs is a dynamic I see and have felt all through my life.

One song in particular fascinated me, from the very title to the words. The name of the song is Four Women. It tells the story, an essentially bitter story, of four different women. I was n't interested really in the historical aspects of the song. What caught me was the fact that this woman was singing a song about women; different kinds. That appealed to me; I’m a girl who draws girls. I saw them in my head as she sang and I felt it necessary to put them on paper in all their richness, sorrow and strength.

I will admit that I laughed, snickered, when the crescendo at the end came and after such deep, soulful music she shouts “MY NAME IS PEACHES!” I was a little bewildered – it didn’t really seem to fit the gravity of the song but then again, her reality would have been one I couldn’t understand and perhaps it all made sense; perhaps the juxtapositioning of harsh realities and almost trivial names is the soul of the song. Maybe I should feel bad for finding that oddly funny. Maybe I should have known from the second verse, when and the way she said “Siffronia”, that something else would come to break the bittersweet spell her voice cast. With all that in mind, I was very pulled in by this song. I’m still giggling though.

This isn't Peaches or Siffronia or Aunt Sarah and she certainly isn't Sweet Thing. She's an indignant one -- she's me in a bind. She's me when I'm down but too proud to let my back bend.




14 comments:

Patricia Grannum said...

She looks like she's standing up to the world and saying "This is who I am" She doesn't need words, her eyes say it all.

(btw,thanks for your comment and follow on my blog :-)

Lion-ess said...

I really like the detail in the dress and the transparent fabric over the shoulders.
One day U have to make me on to put on my living room wall.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for swing by my blog and for the comment! :) I love your blog!!!!!! I'm following your blog now!

Aleesuhn_Muhree said...

This is beautiful! And the name of that song kind of reminds me of the post you wrote on the four heads--just lovely :)

Patricia Grannum said...

Hi there again, I'd really like to do an interview with you about your artwork. Let me know if you're interested. My email is patricia.grannum@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Patrica

Nana said...

Nina simone has a very odd smile, she pulls it off though. there's a song that was featured on Essence's blog, it's called "I ain't got/ I got life' I think, it hit you hard. I think her strenght was to illustrate the struggle, yet also, show that no matter what, we still got something to live for. Art is gorgeous as usual, and i saw your snapshots, you are so hot! I'd kill for your tan!

Gray said...

Now I must go listen to that song, sounds very interesting!

Yes the kitty was alive, though that was one of my first thoughts. But when I tried to call him George, he got up, threw up his tail and stormed off. Maybe he should have been Georgette! ;)

Cheron L. Hall said...

beautiful

CassavaLeaf.com said...

great choice!

SP said...

You have a really great and distinctive style Brianna, I've really enjoyed sifting through your illustrations on here.

mr. nichols said...

incredible!

Passion Fruit said...

Hey, Lion-ess - I promise you I'll do that.

Nana -- You should see my tan after 3 days on the beach! :]

And thank you everyone!

Crystal said...

Hey if you like Hip Hop and Nina Simone check out Talib Kweli's version of Four Women. Easily one of my favourite songs.

Mom of Three said...

Love Nina Simone.... Need to go find her CD now.

I really like your art - you are very talented.