I like having applications out, feels like setting messages in a bottle adrift on the ocean. The likelihood that anything will come of it is slight, but there's POSSIBILITY. I love possibility. I love open doors.

Mostly these notes disappear without explanation and that must be accepted. However, a recent rejection (bottle sinking under the waves) came with a hint from the other side. The folks at the Sustainable Arts Foundation give their jurors an option of providing feedback to applicants. To have some of the veil removed gives me valuable solid footing, helps make it feel worthwhile to keep sending these messages/applications out into the world; my messages are becoming more compelling and they are being received. Possibility. 

Here is some of the feedback I received:

"Your work is expertly made and extremely impressive, especially given the circumstances outlined in your essays which are also beautifully and succinctly written." 

"This is beautiful work: straddling the border between abstraction and landscape. I love the alien-like quality to this work -- the repetition and patterning of circles feels like a language. I also loved reading about your zoom in-zoom out approach and how you incorporate zoomed in, manipulated prints of a work back into the work itself. Very fractal. I also love the quote you reference ("I'm beginning to notice some improvement.") A wonderful statement of humility." 



An excerpt from a grant application. The grant is for artists who are also parents, so they want to understand how having children impacts your life and creative work:

"I live in the Pacific Northwest with my commercial fisherman husband and my three children, two daughters and a son, Emerald (13), Dare (10), and Liam (4). The kids have spent much of their childhoods homeschooling in our humble home. They and their friends are around all the time and are welcome into my studio space which is always inside our home. Artmaking, homemaking, schooling are interwoven--if I have five minutes while the pasta boils I work. I work early in the morning, late into the night, and grab moments throughout the day.

Truth is this life can get real messy. With my husband gone fishing much of the year parenting is often a solo job. The kids get in the way, sheer volume of mess, illnesses that hit at the height of a deadline crunch, kids' most urgent needs tend to happen late at night during my only sustained work time, that is just how it is. But it is big, it is rich. It is worth it. Making art is a non-negotiable part of who I am, I am a better person when I am actively working, this helps me be the parent I want to be. In turn the kids feed the art work. Their creativity is astonishing. I often collaborate with them and am inspired by their choices. I also find intense satisfaction in teaching my kids, their peers, and within my community at large. This is a good feedback loop.

I like to put it this way, I am "living my whole life right now." Sometimes I confidently own this powerful statement, other times it is a quiet mantra used as a reminder that I chose  all of this. Always the message is that the different areas of my life are not separate from each other--I choose not to put anything off until later."



From a recent grant application, regarding my future plans:

"The bottom line for me as an artist, is daily practice that leads to continued change, growth, and improvement. I always want to get better at what I do. When pre-eminent cellist Pablo Casals was asked (at the age of 93) why he continued to practice the cello three hours a day, he replied 'I’m beginning to notice some improvement.' This sounds like the path I am on." 


Little Kid Counsel, already trimming own bangs and captivated by light.

Little Kid Counsel, already trimming own bangs and captivated by light.


I think in terms of a ZOOM in/ZOOM out quality of life: zoom in on the immediate:  food, jokes, bills, lovers, traffic, temperature . . . zoom out: oceans, volcanoes, solar system, sugar molecules in space, a planet made entirely of diamond, vast wastes, dark matter, universe, multiverse . . . repeat. This is wrapped up in a childlike sense that so much is happening all at once; tigers and happy hour exist on the same planet, Jupiter and Twinkies share a solar system.

Using acrylic paint, graphite, ink, as well as, collage with my own manipulated photography (often using actual photographs of a work in progress, flipped, repeated, resized and printed back into the physical to use in the work), generous amounts of glitter, paper, and various found materials. Much of my work comes down to finding  balance between two opposing approaches. One, loose painting techniques: dripping, pours, flow and scatters which effectively represent natural elements – weather, water, clouds, smoke, etc. And the other, using architects’ tools, templates and compasses to rigorously draw controlled lines, concentric circles, grids and repetitive dots; using these to reflect structures and infrastructures that we build.

I am influenced by the look of outer space, computer chips, dramatic weather, electric circuits, decay, rock-n-roll glamour, plans and diagrams, b-rate sci-fi control panels, urban environments, fluid turbulence, engineering schematics and architectural drawings, and, increasingly, the stunning good looks of the Pacific Northwest.  In my work there are things that come up again and again:  Lost highways, nebulas, grids, geometric forms, mysterious powerful ladies who appear to be performing strange rites, mountains, animals, the woods, water in all states (solid, liquid, vapor), and cities, often isolated and/or in a state of decay.