Born October 15th,1957 in San Francisco, CA, I, just shy of my tenth birthday, found myself, along with my two sisters and brother entering the juvenile court system. Our parents were just not getting along. The juvenile courts declare that the foster system could take better care of us and that’s where we ended up for a while.
My brother and I were in one home and my sisters in another. It was during this time in the foster home that I began getting into trouble and going to juvenile hall. My Mother died while I was there. I will always regret not being able to be there, to hug and comfort her, to say goodbye and I love you.
In my early twenties I graduated from the juvenile to the adult penal system. Having been with two friends linked to the crime I found myself judged just as guilty as them by the courts. I spent more than 40 years of incarceration for that crime.
Art is “my best friend”, having noticed that many of the inmates had tattoos on their arms, chest and backs I started as a tattoo artist. Not wanting to ask relatives or friends for money, it provided a good hustle and my reputation grew. I quit about a year later due to the proliferation of the AIDS virus, but, found I had developed a passion for art.
I began reading books on drawing, African carvings, cabinet making, jewelry patterns, and graphic arts. I went through a lot of sketch pads, canvas, pencils and pens working to perfect my own style.My artwork is a blend of Black American and African culture.
My message of black beauty, family, unity and spirituality are ever present. Whether in sketches done in pencil, acrylic, drawings in color pencil, or oil paints I like to capture our struggles and hardships, our successes and blessings from a distinct point of view.
I credit my strengths to my belief in God and say “No matter where you find yourself in life, color your life as one beautiful picture.
Freed after 40.9 years of incarceration on March 28, 2018