75 Basis Points

On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the Federal Reserve decided to hike the interest rate by 75 basis points. Many of us–even those making this change–probably have little idea what this really means, but it sounds pretty bad when reading all the news that followed. With so much happening in the world right now, who can really predict what this 75 Basis Points will do?

Meanwhile, my latest figurative art project–Portrait of Arielle–has gone through much change–I estimate 10,000 basis points change since the beginning of the week. And, I know exactly what this means and what it will mean next week, because I am looking at it.

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Portrait Paintings

8.6 Percent

Okay, it’s that time again when I match my latest portrait with what’s going on in the world! As I am wrapping up this portrait, the inflation in the U.S. is at 8.6%.

As we have been hearing, the annual Inflation rate for the United States for the 12 month ending in May 2022 has been the worst since 1981. As you know, many of the leading economists were wrong about inflation in 2021–they had said the inflation would be transitory. So, when the same economists say things are going to be better, we have to decide for ourselves if they are telling the truth or saying what we want to hear.

Title: Bird Nest
Dimension: 12″ x 9″ inches
Medium: Oil on Canvas

The fact is that the gas price has been skyrocketing in the recent months. If the cost of gas doesn’t come down, the inflation will likely to rise.

With the increasing inflation, I will likely have to increase the cost of my paintings, but for now I am going to keep prices at pre-inflation level. I added a few new paintings up for sale, so please be sure to check them out!


Do You Believe in Second Chances?

Sometimes, we are lucky and we are granted another chance.

Back in March 2020, a day after finishing this portrait color study, the plan to execute a larger portrait of Arielle was suspended. Now, after a long wait, I am standing almost at the same spot where I was 2 years ago…

So much has changed, but at the same time, everything seem so familiar and normal—as if 2 years hasn’t passed.

Pencil Study – June 6, 2022

I am still trying to figure out the final composition for this pose, So I continued drawing this today, focusing on values, and on fabric…

Pencil Study- Part 2 – June 7, 2022


Braiding Cornrows in Harlem

For the past several years, my path has taken me to the heart of Harlem where I enjoyed seeing and interacting with people there. One man—I think he was a security guard or something—always greeted me by saying, “What’s up my man!” Then, I would usually tell him that all is cool with me and then talk about the weather or something.

Near by where this was happening is a African Braiding Shop where I got around to see folks getting their Cornrows and I thought it was one of the coolest thing to see. Everybody there had super-fly, colorful clothing, too.

On a special day, I was inside the salon. The place was full of things everywhere, but not in a messy way, but in a way that tables, chairs, bags, and people all fit and perfectly positioned for this composition.

When the work began, things got real intense. I don’t think they were playing music, but the way everyone spoke made it seem like everyone was singing and moving to the same drum beat.


A Scene from Harlem

Despite all that has happened in the past 2 years, it has been exceptional time for creativity. All of us have different ways of expressing our artistic visions, but I take time to plan and execute paintings that I have in mind. I suppose that’s why I gravitate towards painting from life, because the subject is readily available… 

Harlem-Painting by Je-2022 – This is the initial underpainting

There are so many possible scenes that can make great paintings, so I generally spend a lot of time sketching and painting things that are right in front me until the undeniable “A-ha” moment reveals itself.

Harlem-Painting by Je-2022 – More in progress image