Thursday, October 10, 2013

Moonlight and Mangos: The Artist

Photo by Sabine Cherenfant
"I finally know what I want to do when I grow up," the artist behind Moonlight and Mangos writes on her personal blog. "I want to color… Paint. Create… I am an artist…"

Her hair probably tied back or falling on the side, her sweats covered with a rainbow of paint colors, she leaves her garage door open to listen to the sound of the wind blowing through the entrance, the cars passing by and the birds singing their morning lullabies. She paints with no before-thought. She lets the brush take its own course because painting comes from within.

That's exactly what she tells her students from her art class at the 5 Star Sports and Entertainment Academy in New York. She refuses to dictate their drawings. Instead, she encourages them to let their feelings guide them.

The Artist, who prefers to remain nameless and refuses to be categorized, obtained her bachelor's degree in psychology and hopes to pursue a master's degree in art therapy.

"Painting is my therapy," she stated, and it was a part of her she kept private for a long time until a recent life transformation.

"Last year I fell in the street leaving SOBs," she recounted. "I broke my knee open. It was too wide to stitch and too deep to heal."

For six painful week, she was unable to work and stayed home while most of her loved ones turn their back on her.

"People don't understand how you could be so injured from a fall," she said. "They thought I was being a baby."

Confined to her home, painting was the only thing she could do. She never stopped painting from then on. She realized in life you can't rely on anyone. You have to take control of your life.

She hoarded all of her emotions in her paintings.

"I asked God 'why are you punishing me,'" she said. "[Then] I realized that it was not punishment rather something to make me stronger. I had to get up, get better and move on."

Looking back at the work she produced during that time, she remarks how different they are from her more recent work.

In her dearest painting, Mother Nature, a tear trickles on the right cheek of a mournful face.

"[Looking at it] I always go back the emotions I felt when I painted it," she confessed. This painting to her is an emotional photograph of her mindset during a painful time period.

As her emotion changed, her paintings became more vibrant, and as she became more confident in her work, she began to make it less private.

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you," she said quoting Maya Angelou. Aside from the paintings depicting the pain, she also wrote a poem, posted on her blog to remind her how far she has come.

Six months ago, she quit her job of 16 years as a lab technician to find more time doing what truly fulfills her as a person. Furthermore, this has allowed her to spend more time with her kids.

"you will never find happiness living someone else's life," she declared. "If something makes you miserable, get rid of it."

Optimism and the quest for happiness are her intents in life. This optimistic goal is unintentionally shown in her paintings almost never drawn with sharp edges and colored frequently with glitter. It is her way of making her paintings less threatening and bringing a little bit of optimism to the complex, dark emotions.

There seems to also be a correlation among the circular lines in her work, the name of her company and her personality.

"I can see the moon from my bedroom," said The Artist, who is a nocturnal woman.

In addition to paintings, she also has a collection of bottles, titled bottled emotions. She is also an interior, landscape and graphic designer, making promotion and invitation flyers. As a writer, she published two informational pieces on relationship on a blog and occasionally posts poems in her personal blog.

She is an innovative thinker and forward-minded artist, who stopped watching TV because of the vicious coverage of Haiti after the earthquake. Her free time is dedicated to her kids and her artistry.

"Sometimes, desperation is the best inspiration," she said regarding her ability to create art from nothing. Art crafts are expensive. Thus, she creates 3D art or mixed-media art from tiles, wood, glass, nail polish, hand sanitizer, stones, ink or anything else she could find around her.

Some of her paintings and bottles are sold on Etsy [click here to be directed to her shop]. On december 7th, she will have an art opening in NYC. Location and time are to be announced.

Her blog is filled with quotes from respected figures, such as Alice Walker, Pablo Neruda and Bob Ross. In fact, Bob Ross's quote, "whatever makes you happy, you put in your life," is her life mantra.
Sh strives to expand her knowledge of the world.

"What is the opposite of 'ignorance is bliss?'" She asked to explained the importance and effect of knowledge in our life.

Everything she does is to inspire emotional freedom, empowerment and strength.

"[In Haitian paintings], even if a woman is sad, her chin is always up," she pointed out. In her own painting, she emphasizes the strength of women. Eyes, which are the windows to the soul, are also an important aspect in her paintings.

She wants to transform her brand into a household name, while bringing other innovative Haitians together.

"Something I noticed is that Haitians are proud," she said. "[Moreover] our generation is our future."

1 comment:

  1. My dear child (cherenfant),
    My loving goddaughter,
    The ability that you express so well of having found yourself and your passion in this life is given to a few.
    It is rooted in our ancestors knowledge and the DNA blood that runs in our veins. When we acknowledged this power, the only road is the one you are taking.
    I am so proud of you. I will mail you my book. Healing In the Homeland-Haitian Vodou Tradition. published by Lexington Books.
    With Lots of love for the lessons of life.

    Your godmother

    Margaret Mitchell Armand