Uppercase Magazine #50, published my submission on the subject of “relief”. It is the last paragraph of a blog post I wrote (see below) in April, 2021.
In relief printmaking, you carve away what you don’t want to print. Because the original drawing appears at the end of your pencil, your mind is used to making the image appear in this way. If you let your knife cut the same lines as the drawing, your printed image will look like a photo negative. Relief printmaking works best when you carve out the negative space around the lines of your image.
When the Covid 19 pandemic closed down most of our normal activities, my mind immediately wanted to make something familiar and enjoyable to calm my anxieties around what terrible events might happen. It is said that facing your fears will help you disarm them so I found photos of the virus and made a greatly enlarged version of it as a relief print. To put it in perspective, I printed it with positive examples of nature such as leaves, flowers, and birds. The virus is part of nature, our source of life and, in this case, also death.
I made prints and cards that I sent to friends and family reaching out to my closest human connections. I made a linocut mask image to cover the virus for a print I submitted to a print exchange. I also began printing on fabric to include this image in my small quilt projects. Using the virus image made me feel better bringing some relief, as they say.
I made masks on request for family and friends and designed and made several quilts over the course of the year. Now that we are into our second year of the pandemic I have been printing relief images onto fabric and sewing them into quilts. Making is a form of relief to me and one that I will continue to use as our world undergoes changes, both good and bad.
The pandemic, by removing so many activities from our lives, showed us what is truly important to us. In relief printmaking, you carve away what is not important to reveal what is, providing an apt metaphor for our pandemic experience.
Citizen of the World, 2020
The portrait project I started in 2014 is finished and had its first exhibition showing all 300+ portraits at A/P Gallery in Calgary. The gallery kindly made a video of my artist talk which you can see at this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMv8ixYyMM8
Self-Portrait Quilt, 2020
Uppercase Magazine published a photo of my self-portrait quilt, front and back, on the contents page of edition 47. This was a pleasant surprise.
Wild Words Exhibition in Fort St. John, September 2019
The Peace Liard Regional Council sponsored a festival showcasing diverse forms of writing comprised of discussions, presentations, workshops, readings and performances.
Accompanying this festival was an exhibition of art works inspired by the writings of three poets: Kym Gouchie, Billy-Ray Belcourt and Erin Mouré.
I am often inspired by literature and as I have recently been working with letters and words in an abstract way, I was happy to take up the challenge of this exhibition. I found all the poems inspiring but chose Erin Moure’s words because her work is familiar to me as she is my sister-in-law.
(from The Elements, House of Anansi, 2019)
To draw text as one draws water from the zone
beneath the house.
To articulate all the texts of a life, as they arise.
Not separating them into poems or essays.
Creating spaces for words on pages as if they were
Drinking another coffee.
Sun on the wall. Just
The Story So Far, September 2017
This artists’ book exhibition was a selection of my own personal collection of books by other artists and eleven artists who lent me some of their books for the exhibition at SNAP Gallery. The exhibition was very well received and I continue to show and talk about my collection with students at the University Of Alberta who take the “Words and Image” course in the winter semester. Below are some of the books in the exhibition.
Art of the Book 5, 2014
This was the last of the Art of the Book exhibitions in Ventura, California that I participated in. I showed five books: So Sorry, Buried Memories, The Swan Brother and His Sister, and the two Ms. Nomers. Here are a few photos taken at the opening. It was great to watch people picking up the books and reading them, and gratifying to be there for people’s compliments.