Watch “Mary J. Blige – No More Drama” on YouTube

No more pain. No more heartache. No more sorrow.

For now I value me more than you. I will only invest in me.

Free from all the games. Freedom from all the bullshit and falsehood. No more double talk.

Fuck off workplace drama. Got no more time for you. I’m over the dumbfuckery.

I’ll be the Badass Bitch you always wanted me to be. Life on my terms.

Paleface fuckers want forgiveness for their perverted racism.

They cry out for Dr. King but you’ll only get Malcom X and the 1960s Black Panthers from me.

Times up you bigoted bastards.

Learning To Be a Painter at 64



Here is the Link to the article.


Here is the original article in it’s entirety.


PRINCETON, NJ — After retiring as a professor of American history from Princeton University, Nell Painter embarked on a new chapter of her life: to become a practicing artist. Her Ph.D. from Harvard wouldn’t be enough to get her into a good MFA program, so at the age of 64, the author of four books including the New York Times bestseller The History of White People, enrolled as an undergraduate at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. And while others her age may have been satisfied with taking painting classes through the local community college or continuing ed program (or even at the senior center) Painter applied the earnestness that had driven her through her scholarly career all the way through completion of a BFA at Mason Gross and then an M.F.A. at the Rhode Island School of Design. No little old lady painting flowers in vases is she.

Old in Art School to be published by Counterpoint Press in June 2018, is the memoir that chronicles Painter’s journey toward achieving what her name suggests.

Nell Painter, “Twentieth Century Drawing” (2008) ink & graphite

The book is beautifully written, fun and funny, describing how, after a life of overcoming unfair treatment as a black woman, she is now fighting the discrimination of being OLD, black, and female. The book is filled with anecdotes like one about waiting at for a train in New Brunswick and being approached by an 18-year-old art student in a little skirt who asks “Just how old are you?”

And then there’s the one professor who’s determined to teach her that she will never be an artist. “You may show your work. You may have a gallery. You may sell your work. You may have collectors,” he tells her, but adds that she lacks the “essential component, the ineffable inner quality necessary to truly be An Artist.”

Full disclosure: I have a running fantasy of starting over and going to art school — and I’m 64. Reading Painter’s account reminds me of something an art professor once warned: going to art school may very well kill the artist in you!

Painter struggles to keep her creative juices flowing. “That contented concentration is what I love about making art,” she writes.

I don’t call it fun. My non-artist friends would invariably ask … was I having fun? True, art can feel like play, can actually be play. But I’d say fun is too frivolous (a) word for the contentment, the concentration, the peace of mind I experience when I draw or paint …

Old in Art School appeals not just to those who dream about becoming late-in-life artists, but anyone who grapples with how to direct their energies post-retirement. In this sense, being an “artist” is more about designing your life, defying the kind of giving up that retiring sometimes implies. Being retired doesn’t mean being retiring, but rather is a turning point, a chance to pursue a new direction not yet explored.

Nell Painter, “Back Man 1” (2011) acrylic, oil stick, and collage on canvas

Painter’s artwork has been exhibited at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, Smith College Museum of Art, Brooklyn Historical Society, Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey, and SUNY Genesco, but perhaps her greatest work of art is this memoir, providing an inside look at the hurdles to becoming an artist at any age.

There are interesting anecdotes about those who inspire her: Faith Ringgold, Alice Neel, Romare Bearden, Betty Saar, Maira Kalman, and Sonia Delauney, among them. At times, in her generous attempt to share her art education, she becomes a bit didactic, but this is inevitable given how studious she is. It’s not enough to go to art school; she also spends weekends in intensive classes at the New York Academy of Art.

When one of her professors speaks of her own Yale assignment to complete 100 drawings, Painter’s fellow students groan as she imposes the challenge on herself — and mind you, this was taken up while writing “The History of White People,” chairing various scholarly organizations and flying back and forth to the West Coast to care for elderly parents. She incorporates her feelings about her dying parents in her work, only to have a teacher call it “dreary.”

Even when she makes the final visit to see her mother before she dies, Painter brings chapters of her book to review, and while she had aspirations to draw her mother dying, in the end she cannot, fearing the artmaking would separate her from the experience.

Nell Painter, “Self-Portrait 10” (2010) acrylic & collage

Indeed art school does seem to be killing the artist in her — especially when fellow students don’t share her interest in the black aesthetic, black artists and her defense of the role of women in art. “The lack of concern for what I was groping toward, for what I was trying to do, deflated me.” When other students get disheartened they want to go home, but Painter can’t go home (her saintly husband holds down the fort in Newark) — this is what she’s here to do.

She shines a light on some of the ways old people, with partners and professions, don’t fit in, such as at residential art programs like Skowhegan, which she writes is rife with:

exuberant young people creating art intensively, expressively in gigantic gestures and series of all-night wonders of solitary and cooperative imagination … tattooed art kids bounding around in shorts and flipflops … annoyed by misunderstood rules, propelled by hormonal surges, drinking and drugging and fucking in the bushes, throwing up in their studios.

She finds herself surrounded by Korean students whose parents sent them to RISD based on its US News & World Report ranking. While Painter set out to make art school the icing on the cake of her life, in the end she describes grad school as an exercise in humiliation. A self-described fuddy duddy, her young classmates do help her to loosen up.

Nell Painter, “Nature of Life April” (2010) acrylic on canvas panel

Painter dwells a bit much on being self-conscious about becoming an artist, about how to dress as an artist and achieve the look of an artist — it’s almost as if her agent instructed her to add those details to seem more human. It’s hard to picture this stalwart woman succumbing to straightening her hair. When you’re an OLD artist you take drastic measures to be well looked upon by colleagues less than half your age. The attention to beauty routines is to impress younger colleagues. Even as Painter talks about embracing aging, it’s apparent that for her, going to art school at this stage of life is a way of seeking the fountain of youth.

In the end, she doesn’t really make a case for choosing art school late in life. Had she not been so academically oriented, her own knowledge, insights, and efforts might have taken her more directly toward her goal. But then we would not have the rich experience of riding along on this journey with her.

Old in Art School is to be published by Counterpoint Press in June 2018.




I can relate to the struggles of this retired Black Woman professor who decided to pursue her Art degree at age 64. Her work has been exhibited in many museums.  Nell Painter is an academic and an accomplished woman on all levels.  I on the other hand am not a publisher author nor do I have any letters behind my name however I believe I can accomplish my goals through drive and hard work.  I do have a degree in English and I could make the argument for a relationship between art and literature but I won’t.

At age 59 I am pursuing my art career but having a dead end low paying job nor do I have a partner to hold down the fort or support me art school is not in the picture for me. My instructors will be every New York city Art museum. As well as all those wonderful free art instruction videos on YouTube. Plus I definitely don’t want to have anything to do with any more Lily white institutions. My intention is to build community with as many artists of African descent as possible.

Personally I know that once I leave the workforce meaning will return to my life and my living will have worth and value.

However also being Old, Black and female I’ve had to re-educate many narrow minded disrespectful Millennials who have been indoctrinated with stereotypes of who and what they think Black people should be or can and cannot do. Just proves racism coupled with a false sense of entitlement based on skin color is passed from one generation to the next. But rest assured that I will rip you a new one if you try that bullshit with me. 

Too many times I’ve had to put rude nasty 20 and 30 somethings In Check. Obviously they didn’t have proper Home Training but that’s a tale for another day.

Having survived years of racism, bigotry and discrimination in the workplace it’s time for me to pack the shellac, go where I’m Celebrated and pursue my dreams.


Success is the best revenge against all haters.

My Thoughts on This Memorial Day


Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13


My Thoughts on this Memorial Day


Today we Americans Honor and Remember Those Who died in Battle.

Though my ancestors did not die in battle I still Honor their sacrifice.

First My Great, Great Grandfather who being a Free man remembered his sisters and brothers in slavery chains and joined the battle for Freedom.

William Henry Halstead

In December of 1863 my Great Great Grandfather, William Henry Halstead, who lived in Tarrytown, New York, traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to join the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry.  On his Volunteer Enlistment papers it notes his occupation as a farmer.  He enlisted for three years and was discharged on the 24th day of October 1865.  He married and had five children.  William Henry Halstead passed away in 1888 and was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York.  His wife moved to New York City with her five children.  Her children grew up in Harlem and belonged to various organizations such as Odd Fellows, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Daughters of New York.


Edward Gordon Palmer

My Father Edward Gordon Palmer who served in Air Force during the Korean War.  Daddy dropped out of City College in New York to enlist in the Air Force. Fortunately My Dad was stationed state side and did not have to go to Korea but I’m still glad he Loved this country enough to volunteer.

Of course I’m also glad that after he ETS’d he went to work at Wright Patterson Air-force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was introduced to and married  my Mom Mable Palmer which resulted in myself and Stephen.  Obviously I mention my Dad because I Love him and still impressed that despite the fact Black Americans did not have Civil Rights as in every war since the American Revolution Black Americans have always stood up and defended our country always hoping and praying for the Double V.  Victory Overseas and Victory at Home.

As most of you already know I too served in the U.S. Army because despite the fact that America does not believe in Black people I still believe in her and what she could and should be for All Americans.

One day the hopes, dreams and prayers of my ancestors will be fulfilled and we will have that Victory at Home.


Edward G. Palmer Korean War



America My Country!  Sweet Land of Liberty!  Let Freedom Ring!




Clouds, Gems, Jewels and Stones


Clouds, Gems, Jewels and Stones

The Chime Time Historian ~~  A Chime Keepers Tale



Disruptive Dunes flying to and fro

Scattering dust and soot across both sky and land

Red Beryl was a weathered person.  Her face a road map of lines, detours and traffic jams tracing over 9 decades of journey. In her younger days she was a slow slinky rhythmic Fandango dancing men into dusky graves.  She was a rollicking river sweeping away numerous suitors and lovers.  Wanton abandonment coupled with Hades ovens gradually over time turned to Holy Water Baptism.  As her flower faded she was at first angry with the code but who can be angry with code you did not program?  Many family, friends and neighbors had gone to the Whispering Shadows.  Others exuded aromas of angst with madness quickly gaining hold.  Losing altitude she quickly realized that the light at the end of the tunnel had been turned off due to non-payment.

Or was it the pursuing Restless Womb syndrome of she who was barren from birth?  Many seeds were deposited but none took root save for a few mud-bound mannequins laid waste to premature graves.  Lamentations by and for all my graces and muses relegated to being communal property for every feudal chieftain and Lord.  Yes the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been extinguished.  The Bright Colors are the Facades we create for ourselves much like the Prisoners Village.

Tapestries woven upon a drop stitch broken Looms. Writhing Thrusting old bones from towns and villages.  Old ear and nose whiskers, balding craniums energetic like lusty youths waving Turgid Stamens yet failing to pollinate eager expectant eggs.

Red Beryl clad in long free flowing Caftan that swirled breezing about her body’s ebb and flow.  She possessed boundless Galactic spaces inside her head.  She shook her meager cloak releasing rainbow dust, moon beam fibers,  and robust grains. For she be a Chimera creature housing two different DNAs.  One for the mind and body the other for the spirit and soul.  Traveling through fields of purple grass, clovers and dens.  Sidestepping towns and villages populated with radio bursts.  Anxious to avoid another century decades of wandering in Limbo she hurried to the place where the Trees Meet at the Sacred Grotto.  Greeting the fog, mist and smoldering embers Red Beryl quickly gained entry to Nomadic dreams and Discourses.





Before my startled eyes the Chime Keeper began to morph into a series of anthropomorphic and bio-morphic shape shifting beings. 

Manifesting an enormous ruby red burgundy apron he thrust his hand into one of the side pockets and quickly anointed both of us with glitter gloss granules.


Clocks of all shapes, sizes and from all time periods.  The noise of all these clocks chiming gonging and announcing the hour, half hour and quarter hour was deafening.  


Most mysterious was the clock with no hands nor did it issue the time verbally, well at least not out loud.  It’s claim to fame was to change colors or filters every quarter hour along with a persistent hum that reached into your brain and pulled onto your cerebral cortex.


“This my inquiring student is where we program sent souls with their finite time.  Meaning the time allotted them on earth before they return either to eternity or annihilation.”


How can energy pure energy be annihilated I calmly asked?

Some rue the day when earthly clocks and calendars stop, for some a new start into another life, then for the truly evil, wicked, sociopaths whose souls cannot be redeemed they are cast into outer darkness hearing only wailing and gnashing of teeth well aware of others but unable to communicate in this limbo abyss.






A City on a Rock






I felt like a Debutante late to the ball.  Rushing forward with profuse apologies I curtsied to the elegant cake.

As the Chime Keeper would say, “Humans are just bags of fleshy molecules filled with wanton desires.

Elegance and Decadence.  Deference to old style Aristocracy Aristocrats.  All Hail the Landed Gentry but Sir Death takes them all!