“The Mariner’s Dream,” is a new addition to the ongoing project of The Floating World. If you are lost at sea, (or maybe watching The Titanic in your starry night print pajamas at 2 AM) you might wonder just how large the moon should be as it rises, and where exactly in the sky it will appear. Is it true that nothing should ever be in the middle of the sky? And what if a cloud enters the lower right corner: does that make it ok? If you are also lost in a world where things are (still not) normal, and wondering if the hands on the clock will ever return to count the minutes, this image may speak to you. I found the moon about 23 years ago in a flea market in Lisbon. I carried it and a dozen other timeless planets to the border of Spain and back, and then home where they landed in one of the tableaus of mystery objects I keep around the house, waiting for their moment to tell me something new. This Sunday time’s planet floated into the sky and resurrected an image from another era that apparently I was not quite finished with.
It is true, I have actually been watching the Titanic, in my celestial themed pajamas. I have been avoiding the part where it all goes down – Leonardo and Kate never looked so good, and I want them to stay that way forever. Meanwhile, the world insists otherwise. In the supply chain catastrophe of our New Normal 50 cargo containers are right now afloat off the shore of Vancouver island, and the ship itself is on fire. I pray that the mariners are safe, and that nobody’s home remodeling project, (bathtubs? refrigerators?) or landscape painting book that they spent years writing are in those containers. Who knew that “supply chain” would be everything? It’s all got me thinking about time and distance and faith. The bigness and the smallness. And interdependence.
I never got to blogging about the opening at SAM for Rising Tides. Thank you so much for every one who came to the opening and for the support of our work. Above, Tallmadge Doyle, me, and Jueun Shin without our masks for a split second. I am grateful to team Pamela and Lindsey at the gallery and the other artists for making this first SAM Gallery show of the season a success. I was especially happy that Barge (Salmon Bay) an image from a previous body of work, found a home, with a collector who described my work as “elegant, industrial, and psychedelic.” Faith and time: I had exactly one psychedelic experience, on a hilltop in Virginia when I was 16, and I’m still running with it. Artists are often told that “currency is everything” – yet my experience has been the exact opposite. Art and life are a long game, and this month work that is anywhere from 15 years to a month old has made its way to someone’s walls. Faith. Ideas appear for a reason which may never explain itself, but we have to trust and build on what the tides bring in. What we judge as detritus can become gold, or at least a shiny fishing lure, over times’ passage.
In working on a portfolio update I have been revisiting images from The Floating World, and this piece from the early days of that series resurfaced asking for a new look. Working with the composition made me think about how much I treasure the influence of Yoshitoshi and how he understands space and form. Yoshitoshi’s vision crosses centuries, just as the work of the Northwest Mystic school crosses from the waters of Fishtown to Cyber city 2021. Portage 1, was done under the indirect influence of the Northwest artist Paul Horiuchi and his elegant torn paper collages. I go down to Woodside/Braseth Gallery every few months and just stare at his work. Memory, sensation, refinement, organized, stated and restated. Place, memory, surface, light. Portage is one of those ideas that bears variations, or what is formally called a “variant edition” in analog printmaking.
As I know that people book themselves early with the holidays I hope you will save the date, December 4, 2021, Saturday 12-7PM for the Building C 2021 Holiday Open House & Artist Market in Ballard. My friend the artist AJ Power has generously offered one of his studios for me to show my work. I am excited to be part of the return of this annual event in Ballard and hope to see you there. I will be showing a wide selection of work in a range of sizes and prices. Details and a reminder will come next month, stay tuned!