Knee Deep in the Vortex

a9ad2-wtpeek

If you’ve known me for longer than a week you know that I’m not known for making things easy on myself.  To that end, this is a sneak peek into a project that I’m working on that may very well kill me.

I can’t wait until I have more to show you!

Harriet Tubman

5006f-harriettubman

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
-Harriet Tubman

1820 – 10 March 1913

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.

As a child in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten by masters to whom she was hired out. Early in her life, she suffered a severe head wound when hit by a heavy metal weight. The injury caused disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary and dream experiences, which occurred throughout her life. A devout Christian, Tubman ascribed the visions and vivid dreams to revelations from God.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night, Tubman (or “Moses”, as she was called) “never lost a passenger”. Large rewards were offered for the return of many of the fugitive slaves, but no one then knew that Tubman was the one helping them. When the Southern-dominated Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, requiring law officials in free states to aid efforts to recapture slaves, she helped guide fugitives farther north into Canada, where slavery was prohibited.

When the American Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina. After the war, she retired to the family home in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She became active in the women’s suffrage movement in New York until illness overtook her. Near the end of her life, she lived in a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped found years earlier.

Coretta Scott King

2363b-corettascottking

“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that is seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity, and personhood.”
-Coretta Scott King

27 April 1927 – 30 January 2006

Coretta was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Mrs. King played a prominent role in the years after her husband’s 1968 assassination when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women’s Movement and the LGBT rights movement.

Coretta Scott King played an extremely important role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Martin wrote of her that, “I am indebted to my wife Coretta, without whose love, sacrifices, and loyalty neither life nor work would bring fulfillment. She has given me words of consolation when I needed them and a well-ordered home where Christian love is a reality.” However, Martin and Coretta did conflict over her public role in the movement. Martin wanted Coretta to focus on raising their four children, while Coretta wanted to take a more public leadership role.

Coretta Scott King took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and took an active role in advocating for civil rights legislation. Most prominently, perhaps, she worked hard to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Coretta Scott King broadened her focus to include women’s rights, LGBT rights, economic issues, world peace, and various other causes. As early as December 1968, she called for women to “unite and form a solid block of women power to fight the three great evils of racism, poverty and war”, during a Solidarity Day speech.

As leader of the movement, Mrs. King founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. She served as the center’s president and CEO from its inception until she passed the reins of leadership to son Dexter Scott King.

Coretta Scott King was also under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1968 until 1972. Her husband’s activities had been monitored during his lifetime. Documents obtained by a Houston, Texas television station show that the FBI worried that Coretta Scott King would “tie the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement.” A spokesman for the King family said that they were aware of the surveillance, but had not realized how extensive it was.

Cutie Cthulu!

0007 Cthulu

Man! Talk about one from the archives!  This is one of the first pieces I did once upon a time.  I thought I had lost this little wonder but I unearthed it while digging through files deep in my hard drive.  You can see how certain parts of the style have evolved over the past few years.  Moving on…

A friend suggested I draw her as a Cthulu-riddled she-beast and I really couldn’t pass it up.  I mean, who could, really?

First Grade!

eacdc-firstgrade

Back during Halloween I came across what was probably the best costume I’ve ever seen.  I think costumes tend to go a little too adult or a little too gruesome, so this was such a breath of fresh air.  She’s a kid on the first day of first grade and her parents let her dress herself.  It was so adorable.  It was heart melting. I had to share it with you good folks sooner or later.

Go-Go-Gadget Gouache!

84c38-2012-10-0617-13-13

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take part in the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s annual conference.  During some down time someone literally thrust a few tubes of gouache into my hands and told me to do a little painting.  After about ten (maybe fifteen?) minutes I had blocked this little heroine in and had to get back to my duties.

I’m thinking more of this kind of thing will be in my future.