Our Artists

Annie Lee

Painter and decorative artist, Annie Lee was born in Gadsden, AL in 1935 and raised in Chicago. She is well known for her realistic and humorous portrayals of contemporary and historical African American family life. At age ten, Annie took up painting. Immediately she demonstrated talent, winning recognition at art contests and several free semesters of lessons at the Art Institute of Chicago. Since her first gallery show in 1985, Annie Lee has enjoyed resounding international success. Annie Lee unfortunately passed away November 2014, but we are very honored to continue to share her legendary art with the world.

The Art of Annie Lee 2020 African American Wall Calendar

Cidne Wallace

Cidne Wallace attributes her creativity to the beauty and grace of women, African American in particular. “That’s who I am. We are a wealth of knowledge, ideas, creativity, sass, and mother wit. I just glean from that with my work,” she says. She resides in Southern California where she creates, volunteers, and enjoys her beautiful days in the hood. With over fifteen years in the business, Cidne creates graphic art, produces a wide range of inventory and canvas originals, and has recently begun small business advertising. She humbly, graciously, joyfully sends a shout out to all her fans and thanks everyone for their support of her work.


Frank Morrison

Frank Morrison was born in Massachusetts and later moved to New Jersey where he was inspired by local D.J’s and colorful ‘tags’ splashed across the neighborhood. His own eye for colorful ‘tags’ brought him considerable ‘street recognition’ and local acclaim. He soon became a “B” boy–break-dancer, touring the US and Europe. It was at the Louvre Museum in Paris that he “met his muse” and returned to New York with a renewed vision and an informed eye. Frank developed an expressive style of his own. His initiatives include publication of over 20 illustrated children’s books. His power and inspiration are products of his deeply religious grounding and his loving commitment to his family. Each of his paintings bears his signature, of course, accompanied by the notation “TTG” representing and reminding all of his “Thanks To God” for the blessings of his gifts–his family and his talents.


Kiwi McDowell

Kiwi McDowelll makes FUNtional art and other gurly gifts to inspi-HER women and celebrate their SASSY FABULOUSness! Born and raised in upstate New York, now living in Atlanta, Kiwi discovered she could draw in 2002! Originally a doll maker, she was FED UP with sewing and REFUSED to make one more STITCH!  With hundreds of requests for the dolls still pouring in she decided to draw the dolls and the rest is HERstory!  From magnets and calendars to tote bags and handbags, EVERYTHING sitting still was used for inspHERation! LOL!


Ernie Barnes

Considered one of the leading African American artists of all time, Ernie Barnes is best known for his unique style of elongation and movement. After five seasons as an offensive lineman in the NFL, he soon shifted his talents off the field and retired at the age of 28 to devote his life to art. In this 2020 “The Iconic Art of Ernie Barnes” Calendar you will feel the intersection of Ernie’s expertise in movement of the human body coupled with his gift of expression. Black History facts are included all year as well as monthly facts on this iconic artwork.


Larry “Poncho” Brown

Larry “Poncho” Brown is a fine and commercial artist native to Baltimore, MD. Poncho received his B.A. of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Admirers often site rhythm, movement, and unity, as favorite elements in his work, and he uses a variety of mediums and styles to express his interests in Afrocentric themes, Ancient Egyptology and dance. Poncho’s unique style combines past and present art stylizations to create a sense of realism, mysticism, and beauty, which gives his art universal appeal. He founded Raising The Arts, which has created over 55 images to assist non-profit organizations and African American organizations.


Sylvia “Gbaby” Phillips

Sylvia “Gbaby” Phillips is the Artist and CEO of Gbaby Art Inc., a collection of hand painted handbags and accessories. Sylvia earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a minor in business from State University of Binghamton, NY. After college, she worked at the San Diego Monitor News as a graphic artist under the direction of artist Albert Fennell. She left the Monitor to start her first business, Another Sylvia Original (ASO), selling hand painted tees to stores around the country. She then opened Unique Fashion Gallery in San Diego, which housed 7 artist and designers. Sylvia and her children later moved to Los Angeles for her daughter, Giovonnnie Samuels, to pursue an acting career. On the set of Nickelodeon’s “All That,” her daughter, nicknamed Gbaby, requested a handbag with women of color. After an endless search Sylvia decided to buy a bag and paint women of color on it, and that is how Gbaby was born!


Lavarne Ross

Lavarne Ross is an internationally known artist based in Flint, MI. Lavarne does more with his work than appeal to the visual senses; he relays a message, tells a story, or reveals a part of history.  Viewers of his compositions marvel at the fluid images of his most popular dance series, “Dancers,” in which some are depicted as flowers and translucent material that grace each canvas, paying homage to the great Alvin Ailey and his troupes.  The master storyteller depicts moments of life he has been exposed to with a paintbrush capturing their very essence. Because he has lived through a transition of the people and a city from one time period to another, as an artist, he feels obligated to record these events and changes on canvas. “That,” he says, “is part of being an artist…  I was born an artist.  This is a God given talent and I feel really blessed to be a part of, because I feel ‘art’ is ‘me,’ it is ‘us.’


Henry Battle

Henry Lee Battle aka “Hbatto” is a Californian native and well traveled Air Force veteran. His innate artistic abilities were nurtured early in life, and from the beginning, he was intrigued by the human figure and the way garments draped the body. His styles is reminiscent of the old masters, capturing realistic snapshots of life. His work spans the landscape of the spiritual, the family, and romance genres. One can feel his passion for his subject studies from a distance, but step closer and the details are extraordinary. Henry Battle has a strong spiritual base and believes are is not only a gift from God, but it is his assignment to capture and portray positive spirited images of life. He gains inspiration not only from the old masters, but also from talents he observes in others who are lifting their gifts to the highest heights. His art has graced the covers of many books as well as the sets of the BET movie “Let The Church Say Amen,” OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and a future release of “Come Sunday.” Henry now resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Twin Hicks

Alan and Aaron Hicks are identical twin brothers from Chicago, IL. Not only do they share the same facial features, but the same unique talent as well. Since the age of eight, the twins shared an intense desire to express their creativity through drawing. Over time, what began as a journey of self-expression through art became a bona fide passion to capture “life” with whatever media God placed in their hands. The only question would be, “which hand?” because Alan paints with his left hand, while Aaron paints with his right. They continue to stretch themselves as artists and consistently strive for Godly perfection in their work. Their spiritual and family oriented motifs have been exhibited throughout the country and in numerous publications, such as Ebony, Jet, and Upscale Magazine. Whether or not Alan and Aaron paint an image together or single handedly produce another stroke of beauty, the results are always the same: they reveal an uncanny ability to achieve outstanding color and detail in every airbrushed image.


Buena Johnson

Buena Johnson, fine artist, instructor & owner of Buena Vision Art Studio has received widespread recognition of her legendary jazz, blues and gospel renditions as well as her body of work featuring angels, the spiritual realm and uplifting messages inspired by verses from the Bible. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, Buena has received numerous awards and accolades and her work has been sought after all over the country including noted celebrities and well established entities. Her work is also included in the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection housed by the Smithsonian.


Artist Submissions

If you’re an artist and you would like to submit your artwork for consideration, or if you’re a model and you’d like to be included in one of our calendars, please send either JPEG or GIF files to the e-mail address below. You may also send color copies to our address indicated below.

Never send originals: We can’t assume responsibility for lost or mangled materials. If you want your work back, enclose a self-addressed return mailer with the appropriate postage securely attached and your return address clearly readable. Check to be sure your materials will fit in the return mailer. We will not return materials received without a postpaid, clearly addressed, and appropriately sized return mailer.

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Shades of Color, LLC
20850 Leapwood Ave – Unit K/L
Carson, CA 90746