N.J.’s distinctive creativity blossomed by watching her father Yancy paint in the middle room of their shotgun home. Where, as the third born of nine children, N.J. used tempera paint to scribble pictures on the windows. She’s since traded in the tempera for acrylic, and window panes for canvas.
Her primitive style of painting, heavily influenced by visits to her Grandma Sarah’s house in Coldwater, Mississippi and other country relatives, often reflects the dichotomy of city life juxtaposed with rural traditions and stories. These stories transferred onto the canvas, typify slices of life during the sharecropping and civil rights eras marked by the adroit use of emotive colors, folksy compositions and poetic titles. J.J.’s subject matter and style are often compared to renowned artists Carroll Cloar and Clementine Hunter.