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Ink sketch and Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
From my Africa / Ethnic series.

In this painting, I had just added some random colour to the paper, not actually knowing where I was heading, just feeling inspired by seeing the colours flow. As the colours dried, I started seeing a shape emerge and as I followed some of the outlines with my black ink Pilot FineLine Cokey pen, this lady’s face started taking shape and I just went with it.

A Black Woman, Nothing Else
By Annie Ruth

There used to be a time when
I was ashamed of my skin.
I received tormenting jokes
from all of my friends.

Of course it wasn’t done
to make me feel this way
But being black gave me much dismay.

“African, charcoal, Black Baby”,
I would hear
But no one even noticed or knew
That I had silent tears.

Those names became nicknames and
I’d hear them everyday at school
‘Cause when I was young and growing up
I’d play by my peers rules.

One day when I was still young
My father left us all
And married a white woman
Who beckoned his every call.

I was really ashamed of my skin then,
I thought it was very bad,
I thought the white woman had something
Which I could never have.

But one day when I was still young
I met a black lady darker than I was,
She cherished and boasted that her
Color was a gift from above.

She told me that I was beautiful –
Something no one had ever done.
She said, “your skin is
So black and smooth-
Which shows the perfecting of the sun”.

She said, “To match the pretty black skin
Your teeth are white as snow
And I’m sure that you will show them
Everywhere that you go”.

Everyday she would tell me this
And her words began to spread.
They came from other people
I never even met.

The words of my friends changed to,
“Let me feel your face
And let me see you grin”-
For sister, you are beautiful-
Be proud of the colour of your skin.

Now, I’m not ashamed of my skin
Though obstacles it may bring.
I proclaim to the world that I am
A Black Woman, the element of spring.

I blossom with happiness
And pride within myself
For I am A Black Woman
And I wish to be nothing else.

(Annie Ruth is a nationally acclaimed visual artist, poet, author and performing artist whose work impacts women and children across the country.)

  1. 5th September 2010 – FEATURED in Original Entities
  2. 18th September 2010 – FEATURED in Ethnic Art
  3. 16th January 2011 – FEATURED in Hats & Hat Boxes
  4. 23rd January 2011 – FEATURED in African Beauty
  5. 1st February 2011 – FEATURED in Inspired Art
  6. 10th August 2012 – FEATURED in Creative Cards & Calendars


africa, ethnic, maree clarkson, tarlton, black woman, african, south africa, magaliesburg, krugersdorp, gauteng, woman, women, people, watercolour, watercolor, ink, sketch, a black woman nothing else

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • MikiFonv
    MikiFonvalmost 4 years ago

    Wonderful portrait painting, Maree!

  • Thank you very muck Miki!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 4 years ago

    I love the way you “created” this woman Maree!!

  • Aaaah, thank you Liz!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Olitto
    Olittoalmost 4 years ago

    Please do…….but again, Great work here Maree. Like how you used the SA colours in this particular work.

  • WOW, I see what you mean about the colours of the SA flag! That is really a co-incidence, thank you for pointing it out!! But an artist’s intuition always comes into play, doesn’t it?

    – Maree Clarkson

  • BigCatPhotos
    BigCatPhotosalmost 4 years ago

    This really is superb.

  • Many thanks BigCat!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Mariaan M Krog Fine Art Portfolio
    Mariaan M Krog...almost 4 years ago
  • Many thanks Mariaan!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Bravo
    Elizabeth Bravoalmost 4 years ago

    This is so beautiful, I love your colors and the story that goes with this wonderful piece. I like the random color blocking, it works!! Awesome work!!

  • Aaah, thank you for that Elizabeth, your lovely comment is much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • marella
    marellaalmost 4 years ago

    Standing up for this one Maree – !!!!!

  • En ek saluut jou ook Marella! Dankie dat jy kom inloer het!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Deborah Lazarus
    Deborah Lazarusalmost 4 years ago

    A magnicent work. I love the whole concept behind it. Be extremely proud of this one. I am proud and honored to feature it for you. Deborah

  • Ah Deborah! This feature is absolutely great! And thank you for your lovely, kind words! I really appreciate it!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Timi  Kakandar
    Timi Kakandaralmost 4 years ago

    I love this work, very african…nice work.

  • Thank you for that Timi, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • eoconnor
    eoconnoralmost 4 years ago

    wonhderful workand writting welldone on both !LIZ

  • Many thanks for your lovely comment Liz, I really appreciate it!

    – Maree Clarkson

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