For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides


Earl Bradley Lewis was born on December 16, 1956, in Philadelphia, PA.

E.B. Lewis has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Nikki Grimes' Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle's Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.

Inspired by two artist uncles, as early as the third grade, Lewis displayed artistic promise. Beginning in the sixth grade, he attended the Saturday morning Temple University School of Art League and studied with Clarence Wood. Lewis attended the Temple University Tyler School of Art. There, he discovered his medium of preference was watercolor.

During his four years at Temple, Lewis majored in Graphic Design and Illustration and art education. After graduating, he taught art in public schools for twelve years. Presently, Lewis teaches at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, continues to paint and illustrate and is a member of The Society of Illustrators in New York City.

In 1992, Elizabeth O’Grady read a story about Lewis and saw examples of his wonderful watercolors in Artist Magazine. Previously, at a Society of Illustrators Annual Children’s Art Show, an art director from Simon & Schuster had asked Elizabeth to contact her if Elizabeth found any talented Afro-American artists who might want to illustrate children’s books. Elizabeth handed the magazine article about Lewis to her partner, Jeff Dwyer. He telephoned and explained the business of children’s book illustration to a quiet Earl B. Lewis. Lewis asked Jeff the names of other African-American children’s book illustrators, and after Jeff gave him the names of the “usual suspects,” Lewis told Jeff that he’d get back in touch with him if he was interested in pursuing children’s book illustration. About a week later, Lewis called and said, “Hey, I can paint better than those guys!” Within a year, Lewis had delivered his illustrations for Fire On The Mountain (S&S), quit his teaching job and began a career as a full-time children’s book illustrator.

In 2003, the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota purchased a collection of original watercolors from Lewis’ first twenty-five children’s books. His work is owned by numerous private collectors and sold by art galleries throughout the United States.

E.B. Lewis' illustrations help bring life to books


2003 Coretta Scott King Award Winner
2005 Caldecott Honor for "Coming on Home Soon"
—"The Other Side" 2002 Notable Books for the Language Arts by Jacqueline Woodson
—"Down the Road" ALA Notable - 1996 by Alice Schertle

Earl B. Lewis already knows how he wants to leave this world. “I want to go out like Matisse,” he said, painting a verbal picture of an old photograph showing the famous French artist on his deathbed holding a long, chalk-tipped bamboo pole, drawing on a wall.

But Lewis isn’t ready to leave this world yet. In fact, he’s on top of it.

“I am very blessed, I wake up in the morning and I thank God for everything I have,” Lewis said. Lewis has had a thing for art since he was a child. And he was blessed even then, because that love was nurtured by his family.

Besides his supportive parents, there were art teachers in the family and his mother’s brother – a painter and a sculptor – graduated from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.

Lewis ended up majoring in graphic design and illustration at Temple while studying art education. After graduation, he started teaching, freelancing in graphic design and painting.

His award-winning watercolors have been exhibited nationally in prestigious galleries since 1985.

Lewis’ successful segue into children’s book illustrations started in 1993. Soon the artist/teacher had contracts with nine major publishing firms.

Winner of the prestigious Coretta Scott King award, Lewis prefers contemporary stories but said the setting doesn’t really matter as long as it is a good story. “I like strong human-interest stories … The kind that evoke emotion … Stories that touch the heart.”

Lewis laments that art education often is a casualty of school’s budget cuts. As a teacher at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Lewis says his lesson plan includes a primer on passion because it is vital to be passionate about what you do. “I tell them, you know, that thing you can sit down and do for hours? That is passion.”

Excerpted from “Painting with Passion”



Jennifer Lewis Takahashi

Jennifer Lewis Takahashi is a South Orange resident who has been painting for about 17 years. She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts and has worked in the animation and textile design industries.

Ms. Lewis Takahashi has shown in New Jersey with the Exhibitors’ Co-op in the corporate settings of Johnson and Johnson, Nabisco, ADP and Merrill Lynch. She was in the New Jersey Fine Arts Annual in 1996 at the Morris Museum and had a solo show in Spring of 2000 at the Bruce Lewin Gallery in New York. She’s been selected for many national juried competitions including Realism in Parkersburg, West Virginia and Watercolor U.S.A. at the Art Museum of St. Louis where she has won awards.

Some of her recent shows were the International Juried show the NJ Center for the Visual Arts in Summit, at Pfizer Corporation in NY, Seton Hall University’s Women in the New Millennium show, Essex Exposed 2005, the Morris County Council of the Arts inaugural "Artworks" show in 2005 in Florham Park and at Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA. Her work will hang at the law offices of Wuersch and Gering at 100 Wall St., NYC through Aprill 2011. She will be included in the 7th Annual Maplewood/South Orange Studio Tour on June 6th, 2010.

Her work is in the corporate collections of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lifetime Cable, Pfizer Corporation and Johnson and Johnson. Her paintings may be seen in the books “Splash III” and “Make Your Watercolors Look Professional” both published by North Light books.

© Jennifer Lewis Takahashi

Barbara Nahmad

Barbara Nahmad was born in Milan in 1967.
She graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan in 1990, and subsequently taught there as well as at the Fine Arts Academies of Turin and Bologna.
Barbara Nahmad has had many personal exhibition including The Hanging Body at Campo Blu Artecontemporanea of Milan in 1996; Galleria Marazzani Visconti Terzi of Piacenza in 1999; Studio d'Arte Cannaviello of Milan in 2000; P.O. Box at Sebastiano Amenta Contemporary Art of Parma in 2001; Dana & Louise at Mudimadue of Milan in 2002; Direct and Discreet at Nicola Ricci Contemporary Art of Pietrasanta, Lucca, in 2002; How to Be Good at Nicola Ricci Contemporary Art in Miart of Milan 2003; Yesterday Now at Image Contemporary Art of Arezzo in 2004 and Fondazione Bandera for Art in Milan in 2005; The Tables of Protest, at the Italian Institute of Culture of Lubjana, Slovenia, in 2005; and A Rebours at Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery of Turin in 2006. She also took part in many group shows, such as Sui Generis at the Contemporary Art Pavilion (PAC) of Milan in 2000; Young Art of Finarte, at Cartiere Vannucci of Milan in 2001; Borderline at Mudimadue of Berlin in 2002; Body Language at Beukers Gallery of Rotterdam in 2003; The Rape of Europe at Luke & A Gallery of London in 2003; XIV Quadrennial of Rome at Preview of Turin in 2004; and Seven, Everything Goes to Hell at Palazzo Pretorio of Florence in 2005.
Barbara Nahmad lives and works in Milan.


© Barbara Nahmad

Barbara Tyler Ahlfield

A career in fashion illustration inspires oil paintings
figures can be fashionable!

I was born in Rochester, New York and began "crayoning" the walls of the family home at the age of two.When I turned eight, my parents enrolled me in private art classes at the Rochester Museum of Art where one of my drawings was once a part of the museum's permanent collection. During grammar school and high school I entered and won numerous art awards at the annual Sibley, Lindsay and Curr art exhibit and graduated from high school with special distinction in art. After high school I went to the Ohio state University and the Columbus College of Art and Design, majoring in fine arts/philosophy and illustration, respectively.In recent years, I have continued my education with classes at the celebrated Schuler School in Baltimore, Md. taking classes in old-master oil painting. Following college, I began a career in fashion illustration which turned into a very successful and prolific discipline spanning 30 years+. I have worked both staff and free-lance for many of the major dept. stores in the U.S. as well as boutiques and national accounts. A sampling of these includes: F.&R. Lazarus, The Hecht Co.' Woodward and Lothrop, John Wanamaker, Nordstrom, Dillards, the Broadway Southwest, Marshall Fields, the Denver, Garfinkels, Joske's Foley's, Strawbridge& Clothier, Goldwaters, Lord &Taylor , Marshalls and the Carlisle Collection . During these years, I was in many cases responsible for developing a "signature style" for the store's newspaper fashion illustration as well as setting the pace for other artists in the advertising department. I received the Federated Lazarus art advertising award for four consecutive years as well as the Seklemian award (Retail Advertising Weekly) for outstanding color artwork and cosmetic and lingerie advertising. I currently am developing "fashion oil portraits" and continue to take commissions for fashion illustration and portraiture/paintings.

Barbara Tyler Ahlfield

© Barbara Tyler Ahlfield

Daena Title

Daena Title was born in Manhattan in 1957 and was raised in Long Island, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College in 1979, and lived in Manhattan until 1991. Title currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and has shown her work in gallery and museum spaces since 1998.

Title’s long-term obsession with women's issues and contemporary social dynamics led her to mine the Barbie doll as metaphor in her recent series of paintings and photographs. For "DROWN the DOLLS," Title submerged the Barbie doll (and herself) in a backyard pool and then aimed her camera upwards towards the under-side of the pool's surface.

The resulting images of both doll and its distorted reflection pit what is “true” vs. what is "false." The reflections, the Barbie doll, and the paint all present a reality that is simultaneously distorted and representational. This overlap of tensions and contrasts allow the visceral and the intellectual to reinforce and reflect one another in continuing, reverberating dialogue.
Feminist Artist Statement

In my "DROWN the DOLLS" series, the formal compositions of refraction and reflection mirror the way women see themselves reflected and distorted, for better or worse (I believe for worse) in the image of the Barbie doll. Pervasive societal standard, indoctrinating tool, or "just a doll," this 51 (and counting) year old icon presents a view of women that is as relentlessly fake as it is unattainable.
In "DROWN the DOLLS," pre-pubescent girls play with Barbie, holding her under the water as if saying “no” to the narrow parameters she presents as role model. In others the Barbie free floats alone, serving as metaphor for the female subconscious and its “drowned” dreams and submerged anger at the relentless stress society places on attaining physical beauty above all else. The images encourage us, too, to “drown” these internalized voices that haunt us.

My lifetime obsession with the way women see themselves reflected in society, the visuals society foists upon us, and how the resulting concomitant voices permeate our thoughts and our sense of self informs my work. In previous series, for example, I explored the multi-tasking and split focus of the post-feminist woman with figurative images overlaid with lists and calendars; I’ve explored women with multiple mirror reflections; women falling and flying; and women wrapped up in fabric cocoons.

In "DROWN the DOLLS," the multiple refractions that play on the pool’s under-surface remind us that Barbie, and other social media, send distorted messages to girls and women. Though beautiful, they are faulty mirrors that can grotesquely and unrecognizably distort the true feminine. The path to self-actualization lies elsewhere. Better to break the surface and rise up to the real world of air and light beyond.


© Daena Title


Blog Archive


Related Posts with Thumbnails