Black and White

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What would the Hatteras Lighthouse
look like without both black and white?
One compliments the other
giving definition and accent.
Black and white, when combined side by side,
create a strikingly beautiful combination.
In today’s society, we seem to be moving
more toward the gray…
where nothing is ever black or white.
What are we losing in the mix?

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Anmol (Alias Ha) asked us to consider shades of black and write a poem using one aspect of the word. In painting I realize how important black is in creating contrasts. Dark against light makes them pop. In society we seem to be trying to blend everything and everyone together.  We seem to be losing the definitions we once considered important. My poem asks the question. What is your answer?

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Sharing the Dream

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave his “I Have A Dream” speech to thousands who came to support the Civil Rights Movement in this country. He spoke of little black girls and boys sharing the same equality with little white girls and boys. We have come a long way over the past fifty years.

When I taught school twenty years later, in what was a former all black Southern school, things had changed. All the children in our town, both black and white, shared the same space in our school. My class had black, white, and Hispanic students in it. As you can see in the photo above, they all enjoyed working together on our projects. Dr. King’s dream was becoming a reality.

King’s dream of children

playing together as friends

Slowly coming true


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to think about how things had changed because of the Civil Rights Movement. He told us to write a Haikai poem that included the word equality.  I began my teaching career as integration came into full swing. Children learned to live and play together in a very different way from their parents’ generation. This Haibun shows this happening in real time.

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Golden Gate Morning (a Haibun)

Golden Gate Morning

In 1989 our family took a road trip to California and beyond. We went north west from Bakersfield to Fresno and visited Yosemite National Park.  Then we headed to San Francisco by way of Oakland. It was about 5:00 on Sunday evening when we arrived. We had no problem driving through the city, and then across the Golden Gate Bridge. On the other side, we stopped at the overlook where I took several photographs of the bridge.

I have been wishing to paint the bridge ever since that time, and finally finished this painting this week. I wanted to minimize the colors, so I used mostly black and white and then red on the bridge. I emphasized the ship in the bay to give a center of interest that draws you in to see the bridge. I tried a full color attempt first that I was not happy with, so I went this direction. I switched my haiku to morning instead of evening.

Golden Gate Morning

Summer sun burns off the fog

Ship heads out to sea




The Girl With Many Faces (A Haibun)


I am in awe of women who can put on make-up and get it to look fabulous. I am glad I am not a woman. This is the painting I finished today, after working on it on and off for six months. Since I am still learning how to paint, I was excited to find this unfinished painting along with a couple of others, at the Habitat Restore The sketch was all that was done on this one. I have had little success painting faces, so I thought since I had such a fine sketch I would use it to give me some practice. I painted and repainted the face several times over the next month, with little success. When I could not get it to look right, I put it up on the shelf for the rest of the summer. About three weeks ago I got it off the shelf determined to get it to work. I painted the face several more times. The lights and darks just would not come together.  Finally, today, I got this face, which I feel works for me. See what you think??

Highlights accents beauty

Facial structure of a queen

Layer after layer


I like the black and white version as well. This is the joy of digital photography

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth