|Fireworks, watercolor & pencil drawing, 2012|
--not that I called what I was doing "a career".
In the 90's I was young and living in Olympia with my daughter, Helen. Everyone I knew in town was making art or music. It was at once both accessible and insular. Ultimately, this is the reason that I eventually left for the east coast in 2002. But seeing my old friends, Tae, Mirah, and Khaela, reminded me of how much I have admired them (and others from Olympia: Stella Marrs, Al Larsen, Kelsey Smith, Colleen Cox, Nikki McClure, Amber Bell, Jenn Kleise, Ariana Jacob, Mary (Waters) Sharp, Rebecca Pearcy, Kelly Kaczynski...) so much over the years. Seeing them reminded me that Olympia was, frankly, the perfect environment for a mother like me to begin her art career: blindly believing that being an artist was a real possibility. All you had to do was make things and show the things you made to your friends. Simple.
The things you made, didn't have to be good and they didn't have to make money. A fashion show. A print. A potholder. A paper cake. A video. A pie. A photograph. A rock opera. A poem. A dress. A song. A bag. A giant drawing. A ceramic bowl. A quilt. A collaboration. A book.
|Fireworks on Cayuga, 2011, watercolor and graphite|
|Fireworks on the Canal, 2012, woodblock|
I look back on that time and cringe a little when I think about the artwork I made. It's embarrassing in the same way as re-reading your old diaries. Perhaps tragically-fortunate my house burned down, and with it my awkward artwork.
|Outside, 2011, watercolor and graphite drawing|
|Outside, 2012, woodblock|
Also in December of 2012, at a bar in Brooklyn, Khaela reminded me that we didn't have to call ourselves a musician, or a sculptor, or a painter. People unconsciously moved back and forth between mediums. I remembered Khaela's fashion show titled: You Move in a Fashion, and how amazing it was--and yet there is no documentation. The only way to access what happened during that happening is to remember - and only if you were lucky enough to be there.
And in December of 2012, at Tae's home in Brooklyn, he makes pizza and we drink wine. Then he shows me his sketch books and drawings. He shows me cardboard sculptures he made. And record album covers he designed. He shows me photographs he took and blocks that he has carved. And we talk about woodblock printing. His drawings are fresh and real. The work is evidence that he draws continuously as he moves through the world.
|Left: Throw Rugs, 2011, sumi ink. Right: Magic Carpet, 2011, sumi ink|
|Progress, 2012, woodblock and letterpress|
After installing a show at the Print Center in the Fall, I have started to make new things. It's always difficult for me to begin new work, after finishing a large series of prints. Because the beginning is always murky, messy, vague and totally daunting. So I begin the way I did in 1991, I sit down at my kitchen table (the one that we never eat at) and make things. Anything I can think of. The main difference is that my daughter is now 21 and I don't have to wait for her to take a nap to find time for myself.
|The Canal, 2012, watercolor & pencil|
|Fishing with Nets on the Canal, 2012, watercolor & pencil|
|Night Fishing on the Canal, 2012, watercolor & pencil|