Friday, January 14, 2005
A Letter From Julian Woods
Zena and Zenobia
I'm an artist blessed with a gift. This gift has allowed me to see into the past. A kind of past that I'd always wave off as nonsense. I'm really not into slavery. To be honest, I dont even like hearing about it. Somebody once gave me a DVD with all the episodes of Roots on it. I was like "why you give me that?" I took it home and just tossed it on the couch. I was in some serious denial because for a longtime I'd kept something to myself. That something was pretty wild and probably no sane person would believe me if I told them about it. When I sleep at night, I'd have some intense dreams. Not just your typical dream... These dreams took me back to that time that I'd try to consciously not pay attention to. My first dream was about a woman named Eula. That vision was so powerful that when I woke up, I reached for my sketch pad and tried to recreate the image that I'd seen. Funny thing, I really didn't have to try very hard. It took me about ten minutes to draw every detail of her face. Eula was a hard looking woman but that's only because the slavemaster kept her in the fields day and night, working her like an animal. Like I said, it was wild being able to travel back inside a dream and then pull Eula forward so that I could recreate and actually paint her on canvas. I've never done that before with folks that I see on a day to day basis. I might remember some sexy lady and draw her but nine times out of ten, I'm doctoring the image up to meet my own fantasies. With Eula, I don't doctor it up at all.
Time went by after I'd created a couple portraits of Eula. I gave the paintings to my buddy Byron who has his own art gallery over in Lemiert Park. He was pleased and I pretty much assumed that those special dreams had come to an end at that point. I'd began thinking that craziness was just a fluke and I'd have to go back to just imagining what a slave might look like inorder to finish this special project I was doing for my friend. I just needed to paint maybe three or four more portraits; no problem. But then it started up again... whew... talk about some twilight-zone-style time traveling! I went back in time through my dreams again and met up with Eula's younger sister, Zenobia. I couldn't believe all this was happening inside my head. It's not like I'm talking to these people, though. I'm just watching their lives play out and strangely enough, I'm also able to hear their voices and listen to their thoughts. Crazy; I know... And I still ain't popped open that Roots DVD yet so it's not like I'm subconsciously going nuts over watching too much Kunta Kente and the crew. Plus, this Zenobia was finer than any woman I'd seen in my own lifetime, let alone during a time that existed hundreds of years ago. She had me mesmerized like I'd gone into a coma and found that white door leading to heaven. Zenobia was out of this world beautiful. And yeah, I did the same thing that I did with Eula, I grabbed my sketch pad and brought her image to life. I'd transferred all that I'd seen to canvas and gave her color. Zenobia was amazing with all that hair wrapped up over her head, a white cotton dress, and some white chocolate mocha skin. (laughing) She had me salivating. But nothing.... I say, nothing made me lose my mind more than when I met this chick at Starbucks whose name turned out to be Zena. That's when I started to say to myself, "no more wine or alcohol for me!" That painting that I did of Zenobia? That actually looked just like Zena... And from then on, I've been trying to figure out why...
Copr.2005 Until Again