Monthly Archives: March 2016

In the Thick of It


I am in the thick of creating new work for a solo show in July, Branching at Foster/White Gallery. Time is ticking away as it inexorably does and I am fighting to stay above panic every day. I just finished three pieces, got them photographed, and wrote my artist statement. It seems early for all this but the gallery needs them to be able to promote the show.

I’ve discovered that the great thing about writing an artist statement so early is that it becomes a mission statement for the work to come. Of course, yesterday I started some new drawings and immediately worried that they didn’t fit my statement. But that’s okay, too. I can revisit it once I get further into the work and add a few lines if needed.

I feel clear on the overall theme though. It is broader for this show than the last two solos I had at Foster/White. Branching refers to trees, yes, but also to the fractal patterns that make up our world: the way a river bed splits, the way our lungs are a mirror image of the trees shape but upside-down, the path of the lightning strike and the neurons in our brains, and the cracks we step over in the sidewalk. Even on the surface of Mars we see branching patterns of ancient river beds. The pattern travels further, into the language of technology and the way we speak of our family trees.

IMG_5698For now, I’ve been drawing lots of pictures of rocks. On my recent trip to Mexico I stayed on a beach where a rocky headland met the sea. This location yielded many hours of contemplation as the waves crashed and receded, and many photographs. My family is amused by my preoccupation with taking close-ups of rocks and ferns, leaves and driftwood. I am drawn by these natural patterns. They feed me and inspire me as much or more than the broad vistas.

When I am back in the studio, I sigh over the photos I took of of blue skies and the sea, and the happy relaxed faces of my family. But it is in the detailed images of rocks and pattern that I find my compositions. Today, tomorrow, and for the next 12 crazy weeks, I will be deep inside these images. I will be chasing and trying to grab onto those ephemeral experiences to fix them onto wooden panel or into a three-d sculpture for everyone to see.


In a Whirlwind

IMG_4492Last Fall I figured the time was right to expand Whirlwind Hand-Dyes by taking on a business partner and expanding into on-line sales. Since then I’ve been hatching plans with my wonderful former intern from the UW, Arisa Brown. Arisa and I get along great and work together wonderfully. I bring my current product line of hand-dyed fabrics and accessories, Arisa brings her experience in retail sales, and we split the labor of producing the hand-dyed products.

Arisa has already set up an Etsy shop for my hand-dyed scarves. Look for WhirlwindHandDyes there. It’s been slow to start but it’s giving us time to figure out how to promote and run it. On-line offering of the fabrics will be coming in May.


Straight out of the washer.

This past week Arisa and I dyed, washed, ironed and packaged over 100 yards of fabric for an in-person sale at Lorraine Torrence’s Retreat in Gold Bar this Friday. Arisa is coming with me so that I can introduce her to Lorraine’s students, who have been terrific supporters of my products and become friends, too.


The Jewel Tone Collection in brights and pastels before ironing.

We have simplified our color options but added a second fabric to the product line. We now have a crisp mercerized cotton broadcloth that takes the dyes beautifully along with the Kona cotton I’ve been using, which has is thicker with a softer drape. We have eleven color ways in both bright and pastel values in two different fabrics–so 44 options all together PLUS what’s left over from previous sales.


All the kids came to the studio while we worked this weekend, Toby, Frankenstein, and Eden.

I’m excited for this new venture. I’m also looking forward to the Whirlwind passing by, and getting back to my studio work for this Summer’s upcoming shows.

Let me know if you are interested in our products or have feedback about fabrics and color ways. Even though we don’t officially have on-line fabric sales going yet, I can hook you up.

All ironed and ready to package.

All ironed and ready to package.