Portrait of an Artist as a Woman

Artists have an antenna, a radar of sorts, where we can detect another artist in our midst.  It’s a look in and from their eyes, as if they aren’t there, while at the same time being everywhere.  I know, because I instantly feel simpatico.

When I first met Jessica Chambliss, I felt simpatico with her.  My antenna went off.  My internal radar detected a fellow artist.  I didn’t know then – I only knew that Jessica was an artist – but Jessica is an artist, a painter.  I dabbled with that art form, but my mind is wired differently.  As a kid, I wanted to be an architect, actually went to school for it.  To this day, I have a subscription to Architectural Digest.  I can still read blueprints, probably could design a building if I put my mind to it.  (This is a different story, but I’m proud of the architects who took a stand declaring that they would not design prisons.  If you’ve ever wondered why all the prisons built in New York in the 1980s are cookie cutter prisons, look no further than the Revolt of the Architects.  Perhaps we’ve come a long way since the Panopticon.  But I digress!)

I met Jessica in 2015, when I began my work at The Fedcap Group.  Jessica, as I, worked with youth.  Jessica had been working with youth for quite some time.  Three, five, and even ten years later, the young people Jessica had connected with would reach out to her, mostly to share their accomplishments, not to ask for anything, although some were in the job market after completing college.

A few years ago, Jessica retired.  She is now painting fulltime, what she is truly hard wired to do.  She’s shared some of her present works with me, some I share here.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Poets attempt to draw a picture with as few words as possible..

I would like to hear a word or two from you about Jessica’s art, which I’ll share with her.

About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on Amazon.com.
This entry was posted in ezwwaters, Lest We Forget, Poetry, Sonny's Blues and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Portrait of an Artist as a Woman

  1. Mark Chapman says:

    I can hardly believe this! When I was Pastor of Hollis Presbyterian Church in Queens, there was a Jessica Chambliss-whose mother, daughter, and grandchildren were all active members. This family contributed so much to the life of the congregation—but I had NO idea (until seeing this post) that Jessica was an artist! How could I have missed this? Is it that Jessica is so modest that she did not reveal this? Was I so overwhelmed with work, that somehow I missed this detail? Who knows! But I am THRILLED to see Jessica’s work! It strikes me as a celebration of black womanhood.Her art seems to pay special attention to these eyes of these beautiful women. The eyes–whether open or closed are beautiful, radiant, intelligent, wise, and soulful! Thank you for this post, brother Eric! I salute the artist in you who recognized the artist in Jessica!

    Liked by 1 person

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