First published: Fall 2006
Stylie regularly scours the streets of Gravesend looking for discarded wood. He tells me, ‘Every day when I see a piece of wood I like, I come home, and I say, well, I’m going to draw it, and I just draw it and paint it and put it there.’ Kneeling on the floor, Stylie sketches in pencil and then renders his incongruous and unlikely subjects in primary watercolours with a child’s paintbrush. Stopping to roll a spliff, he talks about his life and work. He speaks of his inspiration to paint.
‘The first one I had Jah, the one there with the bird. Jah gives me the inspiration.’ He approaches painting with humility and commitment: it is his reason to live. Stylie believes that the creative spirit resides in all Rastamen, yet it is up to the individual to nurture their creative gift whether it is poetry, art or music.