contemporary black artists

New work: The one who's got what you need

I’ve become obsessed with the wild foxgloves growing near my studio. What’s not to love about a plant that could either save you or kill you? So I put them in my latest altered book.

YGWIN-foxglove hat.jpg

Foxglove is poisonous — every part of it, fresh or dried. Yet it’s also the basis of a safe and effective drug to treat heart failure. Plus, it’s just pretty, in a femme fatale kind of way.

foxglove stalks.jpg

So I began collecting items that made me think of medicine, danger and beauty, adding them to a vintage copy of the novel Black Beauty.

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Before sealing the book, I flipped through it — and found a few casually racist passages I did not remember from my childhood reading. Right next to praise of the horse’s beauty. (Yeah, I know the horse was male.)

Photo credit: Alex Nemo Hanse/Unsplash

Photo credit: Alex Nemo Hanse/Unsplash

But that contrast of praise/insult, object of desire/ beast of burden made me think of how black women are often pegged as beautiful and potentially dangerous.

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Somehow we’re powerful enough to save America from itself — and at the same time lure the country down a path of ruin. Plus there’s this weird undercurrent of entitlement too, like we’re literally here to fix the heart of America.

foxglove woman & leering men.jpg

I went back and forth on a few titles for this altered book, but I kept coming back to the original one: “You Got What I Need.”

Lisa Myers Bulmash, “You Got What I Need” (altered book)

Lisa Myers Bulmash, “You Got What I Need” (altered book)

Speaking of needs, I could use your help: would you share the image above, far and wide? The Seattle Art Fair is coming up next week, which means lots of eyes checking out artists like me. Even better, you can support me by tagging a gallery that has a booth at the fair. The list of participating galleries is here.

New work: "Denier"

You know that feeling when you take the last step on the stairs, and it turns out there is no step and your foot comes down extra hard? That unexpected jolt, tinged with chagrin? Now imagine the missing step was a friendship you thought you could rely on: how much worse would that feel?


I’d felt that way about My Fellow Americans in general, and certain people in particular, over the past three years. Even my past seems to have been overwritten by these… interesting times in which we live.

Of course, I’ve picked up the fragments of this trust and rebuilt what I could, in a kintsugi kind of way. I can’t live with unrelenting suspicion of everyone I meet for the rest of my life. I wonder if all of us are in denial, but for very different reasons. I consider this new collage, “Denier,” a warning to myself as well as others.


Speaking of broken trust, one of my previous works has been accepted to the upcoming exhibit “Fracture” at the Kirkland Arts Center. I appreciate that I’m not the only person thinking about cracks in what we used to think was stable.

Collecting art: the joy of anticipation

Before I go semi-incommunicado for Christmas, I wanted to share an early present I received recently: a thank-you note from someone with “a budding little art collection.”

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This person’s anticipation of receiving their artwork soon kinda puts me in a holiday mood. I was one of those kids who savored the delicious agony of waiting for Christmas Day to arrive. Now, the feeling I get waiting to ship out the artwork feels almost as good as hearing it arrived safely. Only one more sleep — I mean, “installment” — until this collage heads to its permanent home!

Arrache-Torn Away.jpg

Happy holidays… and please let me know if you’d like to start 2019 with a new piece of art (or the first installment of a payment plan).