As a speed painter I get amazing opportunities to perform all over the world for some pretty amazing reasons. With the Release of “Selma” by Oprah Winfrey and all of the problems in the world this year, I can’t help but think back to my childhood and how the assassination of a preacher dedicated to civil rights rocked the world.
So it was an honor to be invited to perform for Good Day New York on Martin Luther King Day. It came in very last minute, (welcome to show biz!) and since we had been on the show 5 years ago, we jumped at the opportunity to do an MLK speed painting.
We packed our gear, got up at 3:00 am, flew to New York, performed the next morning and stretched canvas in the green room.We set up our backdrop, suited up and went to work. The applause and comments from the cast and crew let me know how the rest of New York would react.
I love painting Dr King and don’t get asked often enough.
I originally developed the piece for a Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro NC, and the painting created there was auctioned off and then presented to Martin Luther King III. Amazing!
The arts are colorblind, gender blind and economically blind. Some of the best artists and musicians in the world come from the most diverse backgrounds one can imagine. Artists respect each other on a deep level – it is at our very core.
Why the rest of the world doesn’t work the same way has always been a mystery to me. When I was a child I took to heart the simple song I learned in church. “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”
Until we learn to see people instead of color, occupation, level of income or religion or country we will continue in the mire of stupidity and backward thinking that keeps us continually at war and in a state of perpetual misery. Love is blind.
What an honor to paint Dr King on his day. He was the beginning of change, but as my friends of color remind me, much has changed, much has not.
This note was sent to us by email minutes after the show. I think it sums it up beautifully.
From Precious Durant:
I absolutely needed to tell the artist who was just on Good Day N.Y, that it touched my heart to see him paint MLK.
I got so emotional that I cried and had to contact you.
I Have never seen anything like that. omg I’m in love with you!
And that’s what it’s all about. Love is all you need.