I’m a reasonably vigorous septuagenarian who lives in Seattle with two fine, but aberrant, cats. I’ve enjoyed many rewarding years of teaching, but my greatest love has always been using my hands to make stuff. I started with clay (in the 60s and 70s), followed by paper mache, fabric, painting, embroidery, and then by a rather prolonged period of working with beads. Since around 2010 I’ve been doing something akin to what the Huichol people of Mexico have long done in their “yarn paintings”: pressing perle cotton thread of various sizes into a thin layer of beeswax applied to a rigid surface like wood or canvas board, except that my subject matter is substantially less reverent than theirs, and they’ve traditionally used somewhat larger yarn. Occasionally, at the end, I’ll use a touch of acrylic paint to get shading I can’t get with the threads.
I enjoy it when people other than my very supportive friends see my work, but I’ve tried to stay away from the gallery/commercial scene because I’d love to be free from the influences they can have on what I want to make. I’m also somewhat challenged in the schmooze department and abhor politics. I attend to what’s beautiful or what’s moving, but also to what’s absurd in the world around me and in my own skewed imagination.
I’d like to think that the things I most love happen most every day if I remember to look: hummingbirds at the feeders, a purring cat in my lap, a good conversation, an occasional tidbit of encouraging news from the outside world, uninterrupted time in the studio, something beautiful in the garden, an elegant turn of phrase in a good book, a melody, a good belly laugh, a hot shower.
If pressed to make an “artist statement”, I’d simply say: “I can’t help it”.