papercuts

Inspiration is free

 

Project 30"x20"

 

 

I think this year for christmas I am getting inspiration.

*I asked for a flat file, dreamed of a cashmere hoody, and truly need new tires for my bike (the go everywhere, carry everything,one less minivan, crucial-for-life item).

All this month, like my own advent calendar (and better  than cheap chocolates that you open a new door to every day) things have been coming my way.  Inspiring people and places, in all types of media are streaming in.  At the same time the light is shining on my own web of  connections within the work that is already started……A strong breath blowing under the fledgling fire and giving it oxygen to burn  bright.

At the top of my inspiring list is a Biology professor at the University of Washington, who is trying to revitalize the study of Natural History with the help of new technology and his own web of creative folks from all different disciplines.  Check out The Natural Histories Project, and an upcoming article in “Science” journal  by J.Tewksbury and collaborators that will have some of my art tucked into the background.

 

by commission 16"x11"

come down off the wall.

I am deep in a pile of projects.

Most of which do not involve glass and matt cutting and unwieldy wooden frames that barely fit in the back of my 4-runner  (this is a good thing because the 4-runner has recently been sold and life is a car-free experiment these days).

Things that do fit nicely in the my backpack, or bike trailer are:

Otter and Octopus A Northwest Alphabet Project- a Seattle CityArtist grant proposal that would help me create a series of environmental alphabet letter posters for display and use in schools, libraries, and community locations where fledgling readers hang out. Fingers crossed.

the Winter Harvest Card Set- Ive been conspiring with friend and foodwriter Jess Thomson. We’ve made a set of cards with my papercut images on the front and her lovely recipes on the back (inside is left blank for notes and well wishing). Together the set makes a cozy winter dinner party menu.  They are on the shelves at the Book Larder and Picnic, two great Seattle shops and on etsy.

Also keeping me busy are holiday card designs for a  kindred biking Ballard family, Oceanographer logos to go on the sides of C-vans,  holiday present commissions for coastal and mountain dwellers, and for one  lovely lady who is emailing me ideas from an icebreaker in the Southern Ocean…….

I am also terribly excited about  water-jet cut metal designs and the Whalefall project that made me cry in my breve at the coffeeshop this morning, but ill save those  for next time.

“Shared is the Sea”

There are many ways to know the water.  Through lines in your hands and icy water around your boots, on sunny days spent chasing zephyrs, or even from another’s words and pictures a world and years away. To the sailor, the seiner, or yachtsman, or scull, the simple curve of a wave can bring out the same sorrows and joys.  All share pieces of the puzzle that is a place, just seen from different vantage points.

The images in this exhibit are taken from my own study of the sea. I want to show a glimpse of the shared experiences that are life on the water.   Coming in to anchor at a quiet little cove, or the starry nights spent offshore with the wind blowing free.  Despite all the reasons we have for letting go of the land, the sea is shared by us and breeds a kinship that is undeniable. The lull of the waves soothes all our hearts the same.

the art that goes with these ramblings will be on display at the Northwest Maritime Center starting this Thursday Oct 13th, see EVENTS page for details.

homestead

 

“Sandy Point Shipyard” papercut 2011 12″x18″

Recently, we all went home to Sandy Point, Maine.

My parents, who sold the family house on Mill Cove at the mouth of Penobscot Bay to spend a retirement running around on boats and changing lots of minds,  my son who had never worn a rockweed crown on a sprawling mudflat,  my husband who got beaten to the proposal punch on Monhegan island, and me (who cried while reading the childrens book “Miss Rumphius” at the park by the library befor departure).

It had been five years. Befor that there was always some seasonal work, or important reason for at least a few weeks visit each year.  I was worried, that coming back would tear at me, loading on acres of regret and confusion about where i want to be.
The house is now in the hands of a cousin and is bigger and better and tidy around the edges in a new way that suits it fine.

It was all ok. There was nostalgia, but no regret.

I had more emotion (and maybe the hint of a tear) during a ferry ride out into the islands, passing by North Haven, and Hurricane.  An archipelago where i lived and taught in boats and on the bald faced granite for many summers.

The places always change, the shells that hold us come and go. A boat fire for one friend, sales and foreclosures for others, and the creep of the elements and wild mountain rose for our cabin in Curlew. But even when those things lost were built with our own hands, i think it is the land that holds the heart. A warm pine island wafting through the fog, or the canopy of live oaks lousy with squirrels, even the ethereal light of my neighborhood in the urban checkerboard.

In the early 1900s Sandy Point boasted a busy shipyard churning out 3 and 4 masted schooners on two railways, I grew up down the beach in the old boarding house that once lodged the lumbermen from the mill.  Now Sandy Point is a sprawling sandy beach and a straggling of pilings. Sand is reclaiming the traces of the past all along that coast.

“Sandy Point Shipyard” will be included in my Shared is the Sea exhibit at the Northwest Maritime Center (see EVENTS page for details).

ALSO COMING UP!!!

This Saturday is the opening of Columbia City Gallerys’  Paper,Rocks,Scissors group show. My piece “Rock #1” is looking big and bold, along with my friend Emma Levitts fine print “Cave” and an interesting assortment of other quirky artists in a cute little gallery. As if you needed another excuse to hop on the lightrail and play in this up and came neighborhood.  Details on my events page.

How goes the work?

“Hokkaido by tommorow”  18″x12″

It is a drift of little black paper cuttings on the floor.

It is piles of sheet paper with coffee table books keeping them flat.

It is hand exercises and a new crush on Mary Azarian and the Farmers Alphabet.

It is a fat, happy envelope from a gallery, and then sooo many hours spent lost in a

design program that my eyes go bloodshot and the show cards have to wait.

It is also the movement of hands across paper, trying to translate everything I know

about a wave into form.  From ocean nights high in the rolling rigging of  sailing

ships, and bodysurfing in golden glinting froth in Baja, and  watching from  the pebble

beach that once was home.

From the roil to the ripple, how does it taste and feel and smell and leave me different.

If  I wrap all of that into such a simple picture, will it somehow show through?

How gows the work?   It goes well, busy. Rich and full.

 

Today I finished a piece for 2 good friends who run around outside, climbing and

biking and skiing, higher, further, more. They met and were engaged and married in

mountain towns across the world. Now love lives with them in the Methow Valley.

Another year, another mountain shared.

by commission 17″x12″

SEE the top image in Shared is the Sea, this October in Port Townsend

now and later

 

On Saturday night I will be sitting in a classy shoe store sipping wine and trying not the notice the tiny bit of fluff that got behind the glass of that one picture. The rest of art, the other that is not just the making has been whirling in around me like a wave lately. And the learning curve is steep.

This morning I got a call about filling in at the LAST minute as an artwalk artist for Market Street Shoes here in Ballard, the result has been a very cranky tot, a tired artist, a huge lesson in framing oversize art from the amazing ladies at Annies art and frame, and two gorgeous 26″x60″ images that are dressed in shiny black cocktail frames and visible through the plate glass window to all passerby on the main drag in Ballard. There are also some other pieces from my studio, some that have been posted here like the hat lady and terrarium, and a couple things hot off the presses. A random bunch ill admit, but in looking at what I had on such short notice, I saw a tale of a homemaker still caught up in her adventures and the sea, and a bit too full of big ideas to settle comfortably down into the life of the stay at home mom.

Im calling it “Now and Later”. Come join me for a drink on Saturday  night 6-9, the art will be on display till the 8th of September.

fast and light

 Looking north from Saddlebag island, the high ridge of Lummi island looms in the distance. The current lines wind their way, following underwater bathymetry and their own fickle whims. In eddies at dusk we found porpoise and sea lions, salmon and seabirds. (12″x18″)

I have a family that still fits in a 15′ sailboat.

In the rest of life we have, what feels to me, like way too much stuff. Boat trailers, bikes and bikes, a weedwacker, a motorcycle, and even what constitutes a second home (its off the grid on a mountain and has no hot water but we have and do sometimes live there).

Some days it bogs me down, all those things.

When I was my sons age we lived on a 30′ sailboat with no standing headroom, and depending on my dads temperament, no motor.

So it is blissful freedom to pack food and the fewest things in our tiny boat and head out into the islands for a few days adventuring. To be out all day long and sleep under stars and be lulled by the waves, to have almost nothing and need even less.

To be reminded that if that was all i had, my family, their love, and a wild bit of space, it would be plenty.