I have 3 or 4 friends who consistently mail me notes and postcards. It’s always unexpected, it might be from across town or around the world, and it invariably cheers me up. When I lived overseas, my mom always sent snail mail, and I felt a little less alone. I responded with postcards, naturally, but also with those super thin, blue, par avion letter-envelopes-all-in-one papers with flaps on the sides that I had to lick to enclose the letter.
Writing and receiving notes was the idea behind developing a notecard subscription. I wanted a way to get a packet of writing material into people’s hands during another long winter. One of my letter-writer-enthusiast friends joined me outdoors around a fire to brainstorm what to include and how to deliver it. That may or may not have been the night we set the porch on fire, but the end result is pretty fun!
I also found 12 reasons that remind me why I write notes and revel in receiving them. My girl demanded that I exclude grammar day and proofreading day, but I have to say I was a little excited about those (March 4 and March 8, respectively.) And then I discovered that my birthday is on love note day. How great is that?!
People sometimes ask me about my "process."
There's no other way to say it--Sara and I were incredibly lucky to spend time on Camp Island at the Kodiak Brown Bear Center & Lodge. Special thanks to Stacy and her team. There were bears and boats and planes, oh my! And it was sunny!
Our trip to Karluk Lake is part of our Rasmuson Project, and sketches and writing from this experience will work their way into our final collection. We found inspiration in the solitude--so quiet at night we could hear the waterfalls across the lake. A lake so big we kept expecting the tide to go out. Nature and animals right there in a way that makes Kodiak feel like a big city.
I was nervous about having to limit my palette for this trip, but I thought about our Kodiak summer colors and ended up with 12 colors that worked nicely together. (Palettes really do fit a place--I took this same palette out of state recently, and some colors just didn't work.) It was a treat to be able to paint out doors, with the sun drying my wet paper.
I’d never been to the south end of Kodiak Island until July 2020. After a delay due to fog, we hopscotched from Trident Basin in Kodiak over to Larsen Bay, and then toward Cape Alitak where we landed off the beach at Tanner Head. Lots of knowledge in the plane with Rolan, Pete H, Sara, & Sheila narrating the flight path, history of the area, and setnetter lore for the rest of us. Working with (and possibly against!) the tides, we had some time on the beach and then hiked over a few more bluffs than we were planning on to get picked up. The wildflowers, company, and G & T after coming down off the bluff made it all worth it.
2020. Wow. What a year.
Our island is hurting now, but it was an oasis this past spring and summer.
A few highlights to remind us of brighter days.
Work in progress--I'm revamping my studio and made a new work table out of "upcycled" wood (aka wood I found on the beach), and I'm slowly painting walls and getting my work area bright and clean. Tango the studio dog keeps a watchful eye.
Food illustration has been on my to-do list, and submitting work to They Draw & Cook has been in the back of my mind for a really long time. The other day, I just decided to do it! TDAC offers up themes and deadlines, and I am excited to build a small portfolio of food and recipe illustrations this summer. I hope your pantry is full!
It's an interesting challenge to mix the business-y end of art with art making. I'm learning to divide my days to make time for both. On the business end of things, I've added a shop and a wholesale page to my website. In the art making area of my life, I've committed to a style of art and a routine that makes me happy and enthused to break out the paints. There's plenty of room for exploration and mistakes, and I'm pleasantly surprised where my art is taking me!
Thank you, Kodiak, for a lovely response to our collaborative show, Home and Away!
For this show, author Sara Loewen and I combined her prose poems and my visual art pieces. It was a full house for September's First Friday with 100 visitors over the evening. If you missed September's show, you're in luck! Home and Away will be in the temporary gallery from October 2019 until March 2020.
A special thank you to Margaret, Natalie, Tyler-Rose and the rest of the team at the Kodiak History Museum for this fun opportunity!
The summer season is underway! Find me at Bear Town Market!
Art that brings a burst of color to your life!
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