This series of mixed media drawings began during my artist residency at Outpost Studios in Matfield Green, KS and was completed in Abiquiu, NM. When I arrived in Matfield Green, after driving from NYC (along with my two Labradors), I felt as if I had driven into a giant, secret bubble where blue sky meets endless green hills. For as far as I could see it was only green and blue — no trees, no buildings, nothing to interrupt this endless vision. It was magical.
Each drawing is a collage of watercolor, vintage Italian printed paper, and hand printed linoleum block prints. They measure 10,25″ x 14.17.” These pieces were exhibited at the Gallery in Pioneer Bluff, KS, in 2014
These were not ordinary animals. A week prior to my arrival I received an email horoscope that included a “spirit animal of the week.” Knowing nothing about spirit animals, I did a little research and became increasingly intrigued. This horoscope prompted a weekly ritual of hand carving each of the weekly email’s animal in linoleum blocks. I would make several prints of each linoleum block, cut the animals out from the paper, and make up small stories as I incorporated them into the watercolor drawings. The more I read about the animal spirits the more excited I got about creating their stories.
All of the fantasy landscapes through which each animal “walks” in my drawings are influenced by actual places (with some embellishment) that I’ve traveled through. Whether running the endless green of the Flint Hills, KS hiking the dusty mountains of New Mexico or sauntering around New York City, I pay close attention to my environments in order to later bring them into each drawing, creating a kind of stage set in which a story can unfold. These little stage sets will continue to reveal stories the longer one stays within them.