We are having a different kind of Mondays. The bike ride to school is composed of mostly dirt road and the mountains are out every day. Our new home has been a hard place to love at times, with blast furnace heat by the fourth of July and wildfires on the ridges nearby for most of August. Then suddenly the calendar ticked over to September and the air cleared, nights cooled, school started, and this new life has begun. The first piece to come off of my work table is going into the Northwest Outward Bound auction, at their raucous Black Tie and Tennis Shoes fundraiser next month. It is a hope for early snow to cool all those lingering burns around here and throughout all too much of the west.
What exactly “work” looks like now is an ever evolving line of conversations. My next book, B is For Bear A Natural Alphabet will be on the shelves in a month and my retail items will show up in Confluence Gallerys gift shop here in Twisp in time for Christmas. The snowy winter rolls out on the far horizon with plans for an exhibit of work inspired by my springtime Inside Passage trips, and work on a flannel covered, wooly hatted mountain storybook.
Looking back at last seasons sketchbook, I found this ramble done in the Deserter Islands of Queen Charlotte Sound but very much the essence of our move to different Mondays.
“..a deserter from the world of the big mortgage and the small vacation, too busy and not enough time. Running downwind from that life to a new one that looks up at the sky and notices changes in the air and the beauty in feeling, being, doing, living high.”
“xoxo” papercut 20″x16, 2015
I am lucky.
As life spins round faster and faster these days, I have someone by my side. One coffee cup over, at the other end of an 8mm line, tangled up with in between the puppy paws and stinky kid feet.
Poised between new years resolutions and Valentines wishes, I send out hope that we can all appreciate those we have while we have them.
Silver lining 17″x5″
Every year the fall comes and I get itchy, antsy for the crispness in the air and for new adventures and change. When I was young, Maine’s Common Ground Fair marked the change with bluebird days and annual sighting of my blacksmith friend Zack, (who still exists, see his wonderful workHERE) then dockside departure preparations for sailing ships, and winter work seasons in the sun or even southern hemisphere….
Now its the first day of preschool.
But im still itchy, expecting that change to come that will somehow re-arrange complicated life into a new and clearer path.
In the meantime, standing by…. i am preparing,
Sneak peek of Emergency Preparedness Poster Series, coming soon to an Island near you.
It has also been a summer of love in the studio, with a bunch of commissions for anniversary gifts and wedding Kettubah. here are some snippets, and best wishes to all the happy couples.
Sadly, this summer has also seen the passing of loved partners and changing of longtime loves. It is an imperative reminder to me that we can never be prepared to loose someone, so instead may we have and hold and love so sweetly, making the most of whatever time we get to share.
Last year I bought a 1969 chevy van. It is so great, it has its own corny, sexy, song.
It was bought to haul around the region my large pieces of framed artwork. 6 feet of glass, times many such pieces, quickly overwhelms even a stationwagon. Not to mention installation projects and 50 gallon drums to fill with message bottles.
This year, big art pieces….not so much. As my path with this art-work thing goes on its winding way, all roads lead to books, and illustrations,and less 6 foot sheets of glass (for the moment). Luckily the van has another purpose and is gearing up to haul my small family and our tiny boat to Baja for an expedition in the Sea of Cortez this winter.
Currently on the docket are illustrations for a collection of sailing stories and thoughts from the smiling guru on simple living Teresa Carey. I am also working on the mock-ups for a Northwest childrens’ adventure story. Already on their way to print are “S is for Salmon”, made from the Salmon and Salal Alphabet project images, and a cameo illustration in an upcoming book from Ivars.
Perfect work to be done with nothing but a pencilcase and travel-size drawing board as the summer unfolds and we trundle around in that van full of food, bikes, running shoes and playing gear instead of frames.
Sometimes life fits into the space it has. Like Goldfish.
Dear Lake #6 from Urban Lakes install.
For this year i am thinking that i want to make more things for myself and my loved ones, there will be plenty of art, but i want more banana breads, and jars of jam, and hand stitched curtains, and superman insignia silkscreened on everything my son owns. I want to turn off the internet, (wasnt blogging intended to be done at a cafe?) read more books, plant a not so improbable garden, and listen to all the stories my mom can tell me.
Resilience and Revelry are what im thinking of this year. …. and maybe running, ive been doing lots of running.
12 miles today and more to come thanks to some lovely inspiration tangled up in an art contract. This year I will make a series of images for each of Rainshadow Runnings’ trail races and ultramarathons. As we started to go back and forth to make it all happen I began to think that maybe it was a little bit of fate that they contacted me, and really what excercise do i have time for if not running? No, crazy gear, no pool schedules to wrestle with, and as it happens the dog needs to get walked and the kid needs to get to school anyway. So ive been running, recently in the rain, and along the Truckee river during a trip to set up a show at Riverside Studios, and over Christmas in frozen midwest cornfields reminiscent of the movie “Winters Bone”.
It is clearing my head, and letting fresh ideas flow….
So the running part is not my resolution, its the making space in life, so that these new ideas and old ideals can grow.
Happy new year.
“Along Highway 139″ 18″x24”
In the 1980s a woodblock artist called Mary Azarian went to work in a rural one-room schoolhouse in Vermont. Finding it bleak and uninspiring, she set strait to work making a set of alphabet posters for the walls depicting rural life and objects. The alphabets’ fame spread and later the Vermont Board of Education commissioned sets for every school in the state. After falling in love with her work and this story, I started to look around at my own sons pre-school and the other learning places in our lives. Despite many fancy alphabet sets on display at kids’ stores, I kept coming across playrooms and library corners without this most essential literary tool. I would guess this is a product of extensive budget cuts and a culture of teacher-out of pocket expenses for anything “extra”.
So I proposed (to the CityArtist grant committee at Seattle Office of Arts and Culture) to make an alphabet set using papercut technique and then transferring it to silkscreen to reproduce the copies by hand. The 20 set first printing would be donated to schools, libraries, and community centers in the greater Seattle area. 5 of these locations would be chosen to do an in-person “demonstration”. This visit will include me introducing the alphabet by reading through the letters, bringing in show and tell items related to the images, and describing creative process of making the posters from field sketches to long hours in the printshop. I would also bring a small silkscreen setup so each child/person can pull their own small print of a favorite letter. These demonstrations are going to be be kicked off with a family friendly presentation at my local Ballard library, ( October 13th 2pm) to explain the project and art making process to community, friends, and family. …. Watch out those Salmon specimens are slippery!
To my great delight this project has taken flight and will also be turned into a book to be published by Sasquatch press, still a year to go on that process but ill keep you posted on release dates. At the moment i’m busy silkscreening the last of the letters and compiling my list of childrens’ programs who will receive the handmade sets, if you have a worthy place in mind let me know with a comment, i need them to be spread out all around the city.
For those of you who have run off to Port Townsend for October, ill have a bunch of pieces in the “Black and White” show at the Simon Mace Gallery. See EVENTS page for details.
Come Sit a While poster
My grandmother used to pat the seat beside her and say “Come, sit a while”. It was a time to set everything else aside while you took notice of your place in the big wide world and watched the grass blow in the breeze, the tide come in and out. Those moments sparked the idea for this show, a closer look at the local flora and wild landscapes thriving just outside the city.
Ive been writing press releases about slowing down and taking time to really notice things around you, while at the same time letting my own life nearly bubble over. This month I officially filled up the calendar for 2012, with a mix of art shows, projects, and commission work that came from the “say yes to everything” mantra of 2011. It seems impossible that I have gone so fast from a few black scraps of paper on the work table, to work scheduled a year in advance, but it has.
With that realization comes a strong wish for me to take my own advice, to slow down and look carefully, at my own place, my own impact, and my own direction.
And I did take on one more little extra project, but its also deeply rooted in slowing down and simplifying. Check out one simple question , and stay tuned to see what I come up with for them.
Below are a few previews from the upcoming show. For more details and to attend the artist program on April 17th see the news page.
Mackerel Skies 22″x54″