The New Year has come in with a roar of ice, snow, rain and broken pipes. It seemed fitting to learn to mix the colors of January, although washing paint out of my brushes has been difficult with frozen pipes! Above is the first spread of my new industrial sketchbook, through which I hope to learn to paint some of my many obsessions: backs of trucks, kiosks, factories and scaffolds and the ever changing sky which they reflect. To move myself from the digital world fully into the work of paint I have joined the #InsightCreative30DayChallenge2024, brilliantly guided by Cheryl Taves. I met Cheryl about 4 years ago when I visited her studio with friends on Vancouver Island. Her studio and process was a revelation, and I knew I wanted to continue a connection. Through her coaching at Insight Creative, the Sketchbook Challenge brings together artists from all over the world to create audience and accountability for taking risks and finding ones own vision.
I have two books going, one for the botanical muse and one for industry. I live in a nature fairyland, but 6 blocks away is Highway 99, where civilization unravels in a tapestry of decline. Even while I’m crossing the street without a signal because residents in distress have ripped the walking man out by the screws I can admire the surface textures. Time and trace tell stories. I am always, it seems, between two worlds.
In my print studio I will be continuing a series of work about Seattle icons. The Smith Tower is a greatly beloved building, filled for me with childhood memories. When I drive the slope down Beacon Hill and look out over Seattle’s new-built landscape, it is the right-sized shapes and quiet tones of the Smith Tower and King Street Station that make everything else look tolerable. Hello design review, bricks do matter! Is there any room for wabi sabi in a high-tech world? Seattle art Museum Gallery will be carrying this series, the first of which is a new color tint of the Smith Tower.
This piece began with the idea of tintype and daguerreotype in a series called Sweet Old World. It blends watercolor and printmaking with digital darkroom tints to revisit another century. Other pieces are in process and will be released throughout the year.
Year in Review
This quiet creative time ahead is much needed after the past year, in which I participated in 5 shows. I was honored to join the stellar collection of artists curated in Like Mother with three collages showing the personal side of my very public mother. In the winter I was part of a 5-artist exhibit of abstraction at Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene. The show was inspired by the book 9th Street Women, about 5 women artists who shook up the art world in New York of the 1950’s and ’60’s. The opportunity for this show jumpstarted the new calligraphic work shown this summer at Intersect at SAM Gallery in a two-person exhibit with Alfred Harris. In May I was a featured artist at Museo in Langley, with Landscape Revisited, followed by the group exhibit, Art and Flight at the Museum of Flight. In spring and summer The Tarmac Residency was shown at Seabiscuit on Whidbey Island. Upcoming, I will be showing new and ongoing work in the Spotlight North Studio tour in May.
This piece, Garden Minuet in Orange, is one of the new calligraphic abstractions. It is available in three sizes, and the largest print, 1/1 at 30×30 inches, has just found a home through Saatchi Art.
New Forest Cards
My advocacy and organizing with Pacific Northwest tree preservationists has influenced the latest images from The Gardener’s Almanac of Irreproducible Phenomena. It brings me great peace to make these artworks honoring the presence of trees in our landscape. These are now available in my shop or directly from my studio, and will be at the Spotlight North open studio in May. Click an image to go to the listing.
It is never too late to send out greetings for the new year, or to begin again. Best wishes in 2024!