On a summer roll

My summer is just now gathering steam and starting to chug along. Forgive me if I start using too many train references… I have a Thomas-obsessed toddler.

I have begun to rely on the kindness of fellow artists to get stuff done. It’s like having a work-out buddy. If I schedule a date with someone to do something, I am obliged to keep the appointment. A few weeks ago, Kokoro Yanagita, a SMFA graduate, came by to assist me with some papermaking. She pulled a giant stack of sheets of her own, while I worked on beating a big bucket of kozo/cotton mix. Will plan another date to pull those sheets of kozo/cotton.

Next week I have a date with Liz Vuong, a current SMFA student, to do some screenprinting. Which I am familiar with, but never really loved, so I never really did much with it. But I thought I would revisit it, as perhaps my tastes and inclinations have changed. Kinda like when I was a kid, I hated tomatoes, black eye peas and mustard. I know love tomatoes and black eye peas. I especially love them together. Still hate mustard though…

And at home I have dates with Jackson, my toddler. He always asks “Let’s make a project!” Last week’s project was decorating a small wooden coffee table that we got for just $5 at a second-hand store. He was excited to use his scissors to cut up paper randomly and to spread the glue all over the table. We then placed the paper on in a patchwork fashion. And around the board and edge, we glued on some olive green binding tape. When it was all dry, the entire thing was covered in a double layer of clear contact paper.

Yesterday we had the joy of visiting our friend and fellow printmaker James Baker at his home in Scituate, MA. While there we went to the beach and collected some rocks. This morning we painted the rocks with a glossy clear acrylic varnish and will later incorporate them into another “project.”

Working with Jackson on projects is eye-opening. The entire world is our art supply store, anything is a canvas, everything draws inspiration. As we continue to do projects together, it kinda liberates me from my own rigid box of creativity. As well, planning art-making dates will fellow artists gets me out of my own enclosed art head and into the studio to put that liberated energy to work.

small table project, with stones drying for next project

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