waves

Seaworthy

Due to a storm off the Azores, I nearly forgot to pick my son up from preschool.

Ann Davison was the one sailing, the first crossing of the Atlantic by a lone woman sailor. I was the one reading her book “My Ship is So Small” in the back yard grass and musing  too long over the rigging of a passing catamaran while waiting to cross the locks.

A series of inspiring projects have been causing me to loose myself in sea-fever after a good few years of being content to play at the very edges.  Ann Davisons’ tiny boat, the Felicity Ann has just landed in Port Townsend and a group of amazing ladies have taken up the charge and plan to work with the NW school of wooden boatbuilding to create a series of empowering opportunities for women and girls starting with the restoration. Felicity Ann Boat Project.

“Go North, Go Simply”

Also in the works is a sweet little documentary being made by an old Outward Bound friend of mine, Teresa Carey, who has her own small fame these days for blogging about her experiences as a singlehander and striving for simplicity. The movie is called One Simple Question and documents an expedition she made with her partner on their own tiny boat  in search of  icebergs and answers. Watch the trailer, I love how she can ask big questions with the winning charm of a rosy cheeked girl from the great lakes.

Maybe not so much of the Sea but at the heart of Seattle, the Center for Wooden boats just opened their North Lake workshop and warehouse, next to Gas Works park in what used to be the mysterious and wonderful land of sea squatters and schooners called Metrodock. I made a piece that fits in panels between the old wooden studs and looks toward the buildings long and happy future as a community anchor for the North end of the lake.

Lucky me lucky me if only i could go to sea.

For the moment it is  well enough to be involved with some wonderfully seaworthy endeavours.  My own current show called “Hydrodynamics” is up at CLICK in West Seattle.  In this series of papercuts  I have been playing with the many qualities of  water  and the different types of linework  and form I can use to tell the seas’ stories.

Current Line 25″x35″

Ill be on hand Thursday June 14th for West Seattle Artwalk.

What a good excuse to see the citys best sunset.

Seastack 20″x16″

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“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

odems ledge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember water as a gentle thing.

Lapping quietly along the rocks, rising on the tide.

Un-noticed in the fog and unheard against the rolling clang of the channel marker.

It filled in all that was our view and then went away again, exposing acres of mudflats and seaweed and places for lazy seals to sit.

Today an ocean away that gentle water is licking the wounds of the land laid waste by waves of another sort.

The moon even came in close to check on things.

 

This piece is going to live by the water in Vancouver BC,  may  we all see fair winds and calm seas for a while.

(Odems ledge, papercut,   24″ x 36″)