Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stringed Up... Chained Up... It Is All The Same

      Painting about Cuba has opened up my mind to the endless possibilities of images I can paint. I like to think back to the stories I used to listen to from family and friends. I also think about the facts I already know about. All of this serves me as inspiration to paint. 
       I feel torn because I want to paint all of these new ideas for all of you but I can only paint so fast! Therefore, you and I will have to be patient as I create of all these awesome paintings. However, in the meantime, be sure to check out my official website at http://www.The ArtisticGiraffe.com  -- You can view the complete Cuba Libre Series as well as my other series. I am confident you will love it... And please be sure to share it with your family and friends. It is with your support that my artwork will reach a vast number of people and spread it's message! 

So... Let's talk art:

    Stringed Up For The Puppet Master 

     Tell me what you think? What is on your mind? Does the color palette cause you to reflect on something? What message are you receiving from "Stringed Up For The Puppet Master"? I want to hear from you so communicate with me! It is so important to me to hear from my audience. I love to engage in dialogue with you and learn what is on your mind. I am a very open person so let me hear from you! You can follow and communicate with me on:

Email:  TheArtisticGiraffe@gmail.com

     I want to give you some back story with "Stringed Up For The Puppet Master". As you may or may not know, Cubans are not free to travel and expand themselves. Unfortunately, the communist government in Cuba forces the Cuban people to be caged within the boundaries of the country. Therefore, "Stringed Up For The Puppet Master" illustrates the chains that Cubans are held on by. The Cuban government is the puppet master and the Cuban people are their puppets. The Cuban government says jump and the Cuban people are forced to ask "How high?"
      If you are an artist, musician, or performing artist, your gift and talent are limited to Cuba. You are not freely given the opportunity to travel and advance outside of the country. Moreover, advancement in Cuba itself is limited to how much you support the Cuban government... Or in other words, how much you can fake it. 
      Cubans are robbed daily of the ability to envision their futures the way they want it to be and voice their thoughts. Everything is monitored in Cuba. Everything is restricted in some way. Everything is done in cover up. Try painting something anti-communist in Cuba and see where that gets you. Here is a hint, it will not get you what you envisioned. 
       If there is one thing I want "Stringed Up For The Puppet Master" to illustrate is the fact that the Cuban people are in chains. They are slaves to communism and forced to eat, sleep, and live communism. Not fun... At all. 
         "Stringed Up For The Puppet Master" is available for sale. It is my newest oil painting in my Cuba Libre Series. It is 30in x 40in on a stretched traditional gallery style canvas. All my other paintings are for sale as well. 
         As usual, I want to take the time to thank you for reading my blog and following my artistic journey. I will be starting a newsletter about myself and my art studio The Artistic Giraffe in Hackensack, New Jersey. If you will like to sign up, please go to http://theartisticgiraffe.com/join-us/ and join my mailing list. Thank you again for your support and time! Have an amazing day! 

Thank you,

Stephanie O'Connor 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

History of El Gusano

    This Sunday I was able to complete my newest oil painting called History of El Gusano. This painting is part of the Cuba Libre Series I have been expanding on this year. My goal is to have a minimum of twenty paintings for the Cuba Libre Series. As of now, I have a total of seven paintings. If you have not checked out my website, http://theartisticgiraffe.com, I encourage you to go so you can look at my artwork. I plan to have a major art event in June 2016 in Hackensack, New Jersey but the plans are in their infancy so I will let you know more soon. Make sure to stay connected and follow me! 
      This is History of El Gusano:

       Please let me know what you think about it. What does it mean to you? Do you like the color palette? Does it spark any questions?
       I love to talk about my artwork. It always makes me smile when people ask me the meaning behind my paintings. It means they are genuinely interested in what my paintings are about. 
       History of El Gusano illustrates the lack of freedom of speech in Cuba. Unfortunately, Cubans do not have the right to speak against the government. If a person does and is caught, they can face imprisonment in addition to possibly more. It is truly a deprivation of a basic human right. 
         However, on the left, a man is speaking to a woman about his anti - communistic views. Sadly tho, a next door neighbor, the house in the middle, is listening in and taking notes. This neighbor, if he is communist, is greatly rewarded if he reports his neighbor to the government, which he does. 
          The government, on the right, takes the report and sends the police to the anti - communist man's home to arrest him. He will be charged with a multitude of unlawful charges and ultimately be a political prisoner. This is the price the Cuban people pay for speaking their minds. This is the price for just having an opinion about a government that has fundamentally failed it's people. 
         So what is with the title of my painting? Why is it called History of El Gusano? What does "Gusano" mean? Well, the title reflects on the history of many who are called "Gusanos". The term "Gusano" is a derogatory term used in Cuba created by Fidel Castro to refer to Cubans who are against the Cuban Revolution and defect from Cuba. It is a nasty term used by communists who are against the basic human right of freedom of speech and more. 
     Countless Cubans have suffered due to their lost of freedom of speech. Needless to say, countless other Cubans still suffer from being brutally stripped of their human rights. There are horrible crimes being committed by the Cuban government daily and there is no consequence. The only option is to leave indefinitely or follow like a sheep... Baaaaa! 
       I always want to take the time to say thank you for reading my blog. If you have not done so already, be sure to follow me! 
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Thanks again,
Stephanie O'Connor 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Welcome to My Blog!

     This is my first blog ever but I am confident I will not fail. I am optimistic that I will gain a great following and really appreciate you being my audience from the very beginning. It is through your support that I will be able to continue my artistic journey and share it with the world. 
        I have never been the type of person to give up. This strongly reflects in my artwork because it features strength and knowledge. I also love to travel and find the humor in life. My artwork encompasses all of this and more. It captures me. 
       I have created a few different series over the years but one is very true to my heart. It is my Cuban Series. I am the first born generation here in the United States. My family is from the capital, Havana, in Cuba. 
        My family's story is an amazing one and ever since I can remember, I loved listening to it. I loved listening to the history of my people in Cuba. The struggle and everything that makes Cuba the great country it is. Cuba is rich in culture and has been the genius behind so many things. 
       It was listening to the stories of my family that made me more fasinated with Cuba as a whole. That is why my Cuban Series explores Cuba in its entirety. It ranges from daily life to politics. It will also depict the arts and rich culture Cuba has created. 
       For 2016, my focus is to really expand on my Cuban Series. Therefore, my blog will strongly follow my Cuban Series and artistic journey. I really hope you walk with me... I have created an oil painting this year called "Cuba, Mi Tierra."
This is her:

       Let me know what you think about her. When I created this oil painting, her eyes stared deeply into mine as I finished painting her dark ebony skin. She had taken me quite a while to complete but my desire to have her voice heard drove me with intensity to continue and press on. Plus, with the inspirational 80s freestyle music playing in the background and making me shake my tail feather, there was no reason to stop! The mood in my art studio was the same as usual. High energy mixed into a delicious cocktail of creativity, determination, and purpose. 

Aside from letting my brain drown in the lyrics of the music and my blood be saturated in its rhythm, I was thinking of the what with my Afro Cuban woman. What was it about my Cubanita that I wanted my audience to capture. I listened to her and let her speak. Then I knew.

 I wanted people to know she is happy. She feels the soft moist dirt beneath her feet. This is home. It is Cuba, her only home. She loves her modest life such as the tobacco field she tends and the hot sun that fills her with energy and warmth. She has a strong appreciation for the mountain range behind her that she used to explore as a child and now admires for its beauty. 

However, in her heart, she also holds a deep sadness. It is a dark place in her heart filled with disappoint and regret. To the world, she is content and full of life, but her heart bleeds. Her native Cuba is under an oppressive government that dictates and refines it's people to mere breathing and existence. The Cuban people have lost their freedom, their basic human rights. In a country filled with so much culture and life, what is left is a small beaming hope of a better future. Listen to her story but be assured it is shared by countless others.

        As I mentioned earlier, I hope you continue to follow me as I take this artistic journey. It will be fun and exciting yet educational and breath taking. I am an artist that is full of life and intensity. My color palette reflects this because it is vibrant with a very bold composition. 

         I invite everyone to engage in conversation with me! I love making friends and connecting with the world around me! Please be sure to follow me as well! 

         Listed below are all the ways you can stay connected to me:

Instagram:  @StephanieOConnorArt

Facebook:  /StephanieOConnorArtwork 

Website:  TheArtisticGiraffe.com

Email:  TheArtisticGiraffe@gmail.com

      My goal is to post a blog once a month. However, I am going to do everything in my power to post more often so we can stay connected! You have so much to learn about me and I really want to make it happen! Make sure to follow me so you never miss a beat!

Thanks forever,

Stephanie O'Connor