MachinePolitick

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

Daily Drawings February 1-7

The main image for this post is the base layer for a new series I am working on for the upcoming ReHatched Market at the Gainesville Chicken Festival. I am using book pages from salvaged pulp fiction to create a series of bird themed art. Each piece will start with a line drawing on a book page. Additional layers and mixed media will be applied as inspiration dictates.

 

BE Banner

 

This bald eagle and banner is an artistic rendering of a metal bas-relief in a local historic district. I am planning to use this design on a series of tavern-style signs, as well as in the Book Pages series.

BE Sketch

 

This is the preliminary sketch for the featured image in this post. It is a simple line drawing of a bald eagle. My main focus here was catching the spirit of the bird and conveying the strength and integrity it embodies as our national symbol.
Though there are a couple of minor issues in scale and anatomy, it’s a pretty solid sketch. I will use it for graphics and the base image of future paintings.

 

 

Daily Drawings Series

In 2016, I have set myself the goal of working full time on my art. One of the ways I plan to do this is to establish a daily drawing schedule.

 

So many times, when I go into my studio to work, I find myself wandering around fiddling with stuff until I get focused. As one would expect from an artist, my studio is crammed to the gills with stuff – piles of notes and images, ongoing projects, supplies, piles of projects that I need to get started on, reference materials… in general, chaos. Though all of these items need to find a home instead of cluttering up the place, they do nothing to add to my creative process directly.

It is my hope that redirecting this energy into a daily drawing will have several benefits for my growth as an artist. At the very least, it will force me to spend time drawing; which I enjoy a great deal. In addition, it gets me on here, posting regularly and interacting with (and hopefully growing) my audience.

Because my fine art is very contemporary in style and typically politically motivated, I think this will be a good way to engage people on the meaning of that work. The daily Drawings give a foundational background to my skills as an artist and provide interest for those not particularly committed to supporting ideological art. They also give my viewers an idea of the process behind the more complex fine art pieces. Every painting begins with some kind of sketch, either in one of my many art journals, or in a sketchbook – all organized separately on themes with notes and references. Yes, I’m a little compulsive.

 

I also find that I just need time to think before I start working. A great deal of thought and research goes into every painting, both before I begin and throughout the creative process. I need to get into my own head before I start painting. I also need to master the subject matter so that references become less important and a personal style develops. I feel that this makes the work stronger and more compelling to the viewer.

Now that I have the crow concept firmly established, I am moving on to birds of prey and songbirds. Beginning now, I will be posting one drawing per day from the series. On days when it is not possible for me to work on a drawing, I will pull from my art journals and sketchbooks to share the drawings behind completed paintings or post mixed media projects that include drawing.

 

Eventually, I hope to have enough drawings to offer them for sale online and at festival shows. To anyone reading this, please take the time to share and stop back in when you can to see what is new. Thanks in advance for your support and please leave feedback!

Frances

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

The Hold-Up Artist

Working Title: Give Me your Money, ‘cause I can’t sell my work otherwise

This painting was inspired by a conversation I had with a performance artist one day. The general idea was that we, as artists, have a right to ‘expose’ people to our art who would not seek it out themselves. Of course, that comes with the expectation of being paid for our work, although money is evil.
The entitlement mentality reigns supreme!

I think the imagery of the painting expresses my feelings on the subject pretty well. The world owes us nothing for our art. We are not special because of our creative abilities. As with anything else, if there’s a market for a piece of art, it will sell. No government intervention is needed or appropriate. I do not support the NEA.
This piece is a companion to the paintings titled: The Gaping Maw of Entitlement and Mr. Moral Superiority. Completed – 2008

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.

Let’s Talk Solutions

I recently read an article shared with me by a friend about the transition of the office of President to that of pop-culture celebrity. Please read the article first, so you can fully understand my response below.

Let’s Talk Solutions

Time and time again, I read articles about the problem with culture and politics; with little or no discussion of solutions. Though this piece alludes to the necessity of getting involved in the culture, it falls short of saying how or why.

I was so excited and optimistic about our ability, on the right, to address culture when I first attended CPAC in 2011. After the first day, I was disappointed by the myopic view of the majority of people being given a voice at the event; and their petty determination to be the sole arbiters of culture. You can read more about that in my article “What I Learned at CPAC“.

When I had a second opportunity to attend the event in 2013, I thought, surely people are starting to realize how vital culture is to controlling the narrative. Conservatives quote Andrew Breitbart all the time, after all. Nope. I was told I’m too confrontational and aggressive. I was shunned because I don’t fit the mold. This, by the way, is why we fail with our youth. We need to stop trying to cram them into a pair of khakis and a blue blazer, and listen to what they have to say.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get back on point. Do we need a pop-culture president? No. Do we have one? Yes. The precedent has been set, and we can cry about it, or we can do something about it. Does that mean we need a glitzy campaign in 2016? No. It means we need to use the culture to spread ideology, move people’s hearts, and impact the national perspective.

Let’s have a serious conversation on the impact of culture on mainstream ideas and political progress. Let’s stop complaining about the Hope poster by Shephard Fairey, and have a serious discussion of why it was affective and how we can utilize such means to promote smaller government and individual liberty.

The first step requires honesty on our part. Do we truly want smaller government, less spending and self-reliance? If we’re going to be honest, we’d have to accept that most of the people in D.C. are not truly interested in these concepts, much less acting upon them. It’s time for an ideological house-cleaning. I don’t mean personal attacks and infighting. I mean silence. Stop giving support to those who don’t share our goals. Work with those who do. Promote their ideas and records. What we don’t say is just as important as what we do say. I’m not demanding lock-step adherence to dogma. I’m saying figure out where you have common ground and work together on those issues with each group, candidate, individual. We should’t be demanding talking points, we should be taking back our culture and our country.

How do we shift from a presidential popularity contest, to the concept of conducting a job interview? We find ways to illustrate and promote the proper role of the Presidency. Diplomacy and statesmanship. Legislative record. Real-world experience. Connection to and understanding of the American people. Take the candidates off their Ivy-League pedestals. Make them dust off the glamour of Martha’s Vinyard and the Lobbyist’s boardrooms. Demand principle in action.

Simultaneously, we need to create work that inspires civic engagement. We need to teach people America’s history through images and entertainment. We need to revitalize national pride and dignity. We need to inspire people to take back our country and raise their voices for tomorrow’s generations. We need to give them reasons to believe in America and reasons to hope.

#TakeBackOurCulture
#IgnoreTheEstablishment
#SupportTheArtYouWant
#BeTheSolution

Take Aim at Human Trafficking

I don’t know how aware you are of the global slave trade. I have known about it through a friend for several years, but only recently got involved through my art. I have to admit, I wasn’t inspired to learn more about human trafficking and slavery – who would be? It is a horrendous crime with devastating effects across the globe. It’s much easier to pretend it is not happening. But that, would not be the right thing to do.

I have had many conversations over the past few years with my friend who leads mission trips to South America, working with one of the major activists in the movement, and the children she rescues from the human trafficking ‘industry’, My partner at Liberatchik, Christopher Cook, and I have been talking for several months about turning the Liberty conversation into a Human Rights conversation. A couple of months ago, I met a young lady who is active in my community with an organization trying to stop the spread of human trafficking. I decided it was time to stop being squeamish on the subject, dust off the copy of “Not for Sale” in my studio and get to work on something. I offered to donate two small paintings for the Taking Aim at Human Trafficking expo to help raise money for their organization.

Below are the paintings I donated:

Moral Outrage

A Moral Outrage

Stand Up

Stand Up and Be Counted Among the Just

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

 

Conservative Artists Should Stick It to the (Liberal) Man

What a nice surprise for Mother’s Day! My second submission to Big Hollywood went up two days after I submitted the draft to my editor. I took the day off, not expecting to be posted so quickly.

Here’s a sample:

It has become a popular mantra of progressives to claim that conservatives are unable to contribute in any meaningful way to art or entertainment in America.

Please read, share and comment here.

How to Exorcise Thought from a Conservative Artist
How to Exorcise Thought from a Conservative Artist
If you missed the first post, please take a look at it now:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2013/04/28/artist-conservative-background

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, a contributing writer at Big Hollywood and BlogBytes. Her art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Conservatives Can’t be Creative

Written for Liberatchik.com

To the average progressive, it is inconceivable that a conservative could possess any level of creative ability. From some of the comments posted on my first Big Hollywood article describing my personal experiences in the art community, one would be led to believe conservatives are genetically predisposed to a boring and talentless existence. This failing on our part automatically disqualifies us from any discussion concerning culture or the arts. Because we will never contribute first-hand to these lofty aspects of society, in the eyes of the average progressive, we are not permitted to voice an opinion on the subject.

Many among the elitists in the art community will take this premise a step further, and suggest that conservatives are soulless monsters. This appears to be the only way they can justify a blanket statement disregarding anything conservative as being creative. This is also a common progressive tactic of dehumanizing the opponent. When you strip an entire demographic of their humanity, no one is particularly interested in how you treat them. Hence, the personal attacks in the comment threads of conservative artists and writers and the open exclusion of their work in any traditional art forum. Coming from a group that prides themselves on open-mindedness and relativism, this is quite a contradiction. Some even went so far as to suggest that I was making the whole thing up, because they know for a fact that these things just don’t happen. All of this angst-ridden protestation does, however, back up my point by validating my observation that liberals are anything but, well, liberal.

I think the real issue here is that liberals and progressives are finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of being the evil elite in the art community. They are the wielders of power and makers of kings; expecting the artists to grovel at their feet for a chance at the coveted public exposure they so jealously guard. Though a position of power may come with its perks, it also comes with resentment and backlash. The liberal elite are now in the inconvenient position of having to admit that a conservative political artist is avante-garde and revolutionary. That comes with a cool factor that they will not allow us to have without a fight. Because, if we’re perceived as being cool, the youth of America will become interested in what we are doing. Then, for us, possibilities are endless.

In the words of my friend and partner at Liberatchik, Christopher Cook, “Human liberty and natural rights are an unstoppable force: as long as there are humans, we will yearn for liberty. A movement [to express this yearning] is building now, and art will be a part of it. The statists can delay it, but they cannot stop it. Their time is coming to an end.” I am looking forward to being a voice for this movement and I hope you are as well.

72_liberatchik_page_image1

 

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, a contributing writer at Big Hollywood and BlogBytes. Her art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

How Conservative Artists Can Use New Media, Work Around Liberal Critics

Being a gadfly has finally paid off!

I made a pest of myself at CPAC this year, then followed up with some good, old-fashioned harassment when I got back. Thanks to the guys at Big Hollywood for giving me a platform!

“Most people can’t conceive of such a thing because they have always believed conservatives aren’t particularly creative. Others think having a message ruins the work. I am here to explain why we should be both seeking out and supporting conservative artists.

Like many creative conservatives I know, I spent several years struggling alone to make my way in the liberal-dominated art community. I tried to figure out what people wanted to buy from an artist. I spent hours walking through galleries to see what was selling. However, I am not the least bit interested in painting still-lifes or landscapes. Photo realism and portraiture don’t interest me much beyond their technical aspects. I can’t stand most abstract or modern art.”…

Read the full article here.

 

Effigy #1984

Effigy #1984

With the exception of editing typographical errors, this article has been left as it was originally written for MachinePolitick.

Effigy #1984

Completed: 2004

Medium: Mixed media.

Price $550

Dimensions: 37w x 18h x 1d

Notes: Professionally framed with conservation glass.

Description:

This illustration is a commentary on the overwhelming hatred of George Bush that seems to infect most of the liberal population. Granted, all politicians have opposition, but I can’t remember hearing so many people wishing someone dead as there are for Bush. I’m not his biggest fan by far, but we could and have done worse.

The level of hatred and overwhelming anger exhibited by these people reminded me of the Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s novel 1984, so I set to work making a visual representation of the phenomenon. I have personally had conversations with people who broke down and screamed “Bush is a fascist” when the discussion didn’t go their way. It seems to be a mania, or dementia, or compulsion to call a person a Nazi when you can no longer carry on a rational conversation. I guess the point I’m making is, it’s a little scary when people get so angry they can’t be rational anymore.

Accordingly, I used excerpts from the book that illustrate the point I’m trying to make. Each excerpt is accompanied with a graphic image that is a visual representation of the thought expressed in the novel. they’re arranged in a gritty, sequential art style that is supposed to make you feel a little edgy- the way those people make me feel when they start raving. I’ll be the first to say I’m guilty of the same behavior, but I like to spread it around a little. I tend to think all the politicians are the problem, and our government could stand a little less of itself.

A great deal of thought went into this piece and there was much research into the visual elements as well as the literary. The celebrity quotes are from a variety of sources and I didn’t document them as well as I normally would, but they’re out there if you look hard enough. The rest of the quotes and statistics are referenced below.

Links:

The Origin of the Double Standard
Michael Tremoglie    www.mensnewsdaily.com

Hate Speech from the Left
Jeff Jacoby    December 29, 2003 www.townhall.com

Like, I’m Psychologically Disturbed
Cal Thomas    July 29, 2003 www.townhall.com

1984, George Orwell
Excerpts from Chapter 5    www.online-literature.com

The American Psychological Association Psychological Bulletin Study on Conservative Behavior    www.wam.umd.edu

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com and a contributing writer at the Big Dawg Music Radio Blog, BlogBytes. Her art can be viewed at MachinePolitick.com