After several years as a traditional storyteller, cultural preservationist and performance artist, I’ve returned to painting. The Collard Series, begun in Winter 2013, continues my exploration of African American and Gullah heritage and cultural traditions of family, community and history. The greens themselves are a connection to my father, who always grew them in our yard, no matter where we lived. They represent nurturing, endurance, love and strength. The Collard Queen was initially conceived as a simpler piece, but it evolved into an image of strength and beauty and power. My daughter is one of my muses and she provided the inspiration for this piece. It is the 11th piece in the series.