Pointillism is a painting technique that emerged during the late-1880s in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image. The term “Pointillism,” as an offshoot of Impressionism, was coined by art critics in order to ridicule the works of these artists. Pointillism today does not have negative connotations; it relies upon the ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to blend the color spots into a fuller range of tones. My application of Pointillism in creating motifs inspired by trade wind beads does not attempt to blend pigments on a palette, but to create textures within texture. Pointillism is an appropriate pen technique reminiscent of African trade beads that are spotlighted motifs in this blog.


“Notch the Rabbit,” design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Br’er (or Brother) Rabbit stories have their origins in African trickster storytelling traditions. Slaves brought Br’er Rabbit to America, and he is a folk hero that uses his wits to overcome adversity and adversaries. Br’er Rabbit is multidimensional and brings nuanced messages: he can be a hero or a lovable villain. Notch was a real rabbit companion from my youth who earned his ear notch on an adventure.