freedom

None of us are Free if some of us are In Chains

2016Chains

For the last three years, I have worked with organizations in my community to raise awareness of human trafficking, with the goal of rescuing and rehabilitating victims. Each year, my inspiration comes from a different source. This year, I have been swamped with commissions and did not think I would have time to create a painting for the upcoming auction. 

One night, while working in the studio, I heard Solomon Burke’s iconic song come across my tablet, and I had a sudden flash of inspiration. Because of the short time frame, I really had to work hard to get this painting set up and completed in time for The Night of Awareness

None of us are Free if some of us are In Chains

12″ x 48″

acrylic on canvas

The concepts of individual liberty and human rights are inherent in both my art and the foundations of the modern abolitionist movement. The term freedom is not just an ideological construct; it is a basic human right. Freedom is the natural state of all human beings throughout the world, whether recognized by their governments or not. 

Freedom cannot be infringed upon by any society or individual seeking the classifications of just or civilized. Daily, freedom is denied to individuals both openly and covertly, across the globe. We may turn a blind eye here in America, but that does not make the violation go away. It has been said that allowing a crime to go unpunished is itself complicity in the crime. 

Unknown or ignored by most people, acts of slavery are committed on a daily basis without any redress for the victims. For the last two years, I have endeavored to to use my art as a means to address this issue. 

A Moral Outrage

Moral Outrage

Part 1 of 2: The Crime

Stand Up

Part 2 of 2: The Rescue

Lifted up on Golden Wings

completed2015

From a moral perspective, we cannot turn a blind eye to the crime of human trafficking. Whether we are effected as individuals or not, whether there is a measurable public health crisis or not, we must eradicate human slavery practices wherever they exist. This is a true social justice issue for which everyone should feel compelled to raise awareness and eliminate its practice. 

Human slavery is quite literally a stain on the very soul and fabric of our nation. Let’s come together as Americans and see to our own house, with open eyes, focused effort, and human compassion.

Stand up and be counted among the just.

#EndHumanSlaveryInOurTime

Collaborative Project: The Remnant

This mixed media flag on salvaged lumber is a collaborative project with Red Barn Forge of Braselton, Georgia. Local blacksmith, Dave Leimbach is creating the  frame and post/hanging hardware to convert this large flag into a tavern sign.

 

** Project Update: July 25, 2016.

As art often does, this project has evolved beyond the original vision of the artist. This is one of the many reasons I keep an art journal – a topic for separate discussion – because I often deviate far from my original concept. If I didn’t put the ideas down in notes and sketches, I might forget the original idea and never revisit it in a piece of art. I still might not, but it is at least possible if I can sit down with an art journal and reexamine ideas.

At any rate, my good friend and craftsman Dave has a creative spirit that often deviates from his best laid-plans. When I first showed him ‘The Remnant”, it was in the early stages of design. I had secured the heavy pieces of salvaged lumber to a support and cleaned off the debris accumulated from sitting in the wood pile out back of my tractor shed. You could see the path roots had taken across the wood and I intended for that character to show through.

I carefully wiped the wood down and applied a heavy coat of acrylic medium to preserve the stains and seal the grain of the wood. Then, I used my layering techniques to create a distressed version of the Revolutionary Era flag. For once, I was successful at keeping it simple. After a coat of varnish to protect the finish, I was off to Dave’s shop to turn it over to him.

Dave was going to create a forged frame and hanging hardware so The Remnant could hang like a tavern sign. Then, he pulled it out of my car, and noticed the weight, which had concerned me. We talked about it for a while and Dave thought he might make a post instead. I told him to follow his inspiration and let me know what he came up with. I would be as surprised as everyone else at the Independence Day reveal.

I was, in fact, humbled and blown away. It turned out that Dave couldn’t figure out hardware or a post. Dave is a superb craftsman; this was no lack of talent on his part. You see, he had become attached to The Remnant and its symbolism. He had to have it for his own. He needed to have a more tangible relationship with it.

Dave has not only purchased The Remnant for himself; he has converted it into a tabletop on which he can write and design his own art – finely crafted knives, forged utilitarian pieces, and beautiful leatherwork. The table now resides in his shop, which opens in Braselton on the first of August.

**Photos and links will be posted after the opening of Red barn Forge***

DavesTable

 

#TakeBackOurCulture
#IgnoreTheEstablishment
#SupportTheArtYouWant
#BeTheSolution
#ControlTheNarrative

Daily Drawing 2.10.2016: Angel Study

This drawing was the initial study for a large scale angel painting that I created to help raise money to fight human trafficking. My friend Katie was gracious enough to pose for the reference photos for this project.

The painting was purchased by a good friend, and consequently, has become one of my few donated paintings to remain where I can enjoy it. Just before Christmas, it survived a large fire and I had the opportunity to restore it for its owner. It is now on loan for my booth at Don Byram Art and Antiques hosted by the Jackson County Arts Council. If you live in the area, please stop by and check it out in person.

 

DBA Booth

 

 

Handcrafted for the Holidays

Please join me this weekend for the annual Christmas Market at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. I will be one of the art vendors with small patriotic art, primitives and folk pieces, hand-made Christmas cards and ornaments, and painted boxes and trunks. 

Handcrafted

I Hold On

**SOLD**
This small painting is the first in a series designed to illustrate and iconify the Liberty Bell. I am currently developing a group of non-political work to promote patriotism and American pride.

This painting incorporates lyrics from the Dierks Bentley song, I Hold On.

View more of my patriotic art on my Libertas Americana page.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Americana Eagle

This americana painting was created on salvaged wood. The style is very simple, in order to illustrate patriotism and American pride. 

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

View more work in this style on my Primitives and Folk Art page.

Liberty Bell Tavern Sign

This primitive piece was created on salvaged wood. The style is very minimal, in order to allow the interesting patina of the wood to show through the painting. The Liberty Bell is an icon I am developing as part of my work at Libertas Americana, designed to illustrate patriotism and American pride.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Silence of the Lambs

 

This drawing is in response to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. What a lovely title. It almost makes you feel like they’ve done something to make politicians less corrupt. What they’ve really done is tell you who you can support and how much you can give them. Don’t be fooled by the tripe about getting the money out of politics. The guys with big money on both sides can find ways around something as insignificant as a little law. They already have in most cases. All it really does is make it harder for the little guy who’s trying to follow the law to exercise his right to free speech and to vote.

Making politics more transparent and less driven by money is a load and we all know it. There’s not much else to say. We all know these guys are just trying to stay in office and keep anyone new off their turf. People who break the rules under one system will do so under any system. Legislation doesn’t change that, it just makes things harder for people who follow the law.

The imagery in this drawing illustrates the red tape of government regulation silencing the people. We do this to ourselves when we continue to vote the same people into office year after year because of party loyalty. This is just one more reason I support term limits and hope to see third party philosophies become more popular. Completed – 2007
Medium: Charcoal and ink on paper
Dimensions: 24w x 24h x 1d

Additional blogs regarding the First Amendment:

The Fairness Doctrine Looms on the Horizon

The Fairness Doctrine Looms on the Horizon, Pt.2

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

How to Exorcise Conservative Thought in an Artist

This painting was inspired by several conversations I have had with other artists. The first reaction I face when describing my work and point of view is shock. Disdain or anger quickly follow. My impression is that I have no right to be conservative and that I am breaking some unspoken law by creating political work from my point of view. I suppose open-mindedness only applies to ideas that conform to the status quo. The next thing that typically happens is that I am quizzed on the minutia of American History facts and dates. Inevitably, I will not know a detail and then I am proven ignorant. This is the point at which I usually learn that the other artist used to be a professor and, therefore has an unfair advantage over me. So much for acceptance of opposing points of view. Or common civility.

I find these conversations inspirational, because they lead to all sorts of wonderful imagery. This painting was executed very quickly and I enjoyed every minute of it. I look forward to doing more work in this style. – 2008

View more art in this series on the Art Community page.

Medium: acrylic and vine charcoal on wood panel

Dimensions: 14w x 26h x 4d

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her articles and interviews have been published at Blog Bytes , Big Hollywood, and WND . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.