Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook 2016

My  husband and I moved to Portland, OR  from Carson, CA. We lived in a mobile home park for over 20 years. The first picture shows the view out the front  windows. Cement, blacktop, cement. I had grown up in Southern CA, so I was used to being surrounded by cement, city, and freeways. However, for years I longed for open spaces, land, grass, and trees.  I told everyone the reason I wanted to move to Oregon was, “I need a tree.”

Finally, in 2012, life’s circumstances allowed my dream to manifest.  We moved to a small amount of acreage with a big house just out of town, right at the beginning of the farmland.  The second picture  shows the view out the back door.  It is a section of green space, a small forest area that will not be developed. Wow. No cement, no blacktop.

Honestly, I was in heaven, but I felt like Red Riding Hood or Snow White, lost in the big, dark, woods. I felt a nagging sense of fear peering through the trees, especially at dusk or during the black of the night. For the first few months I imagined all kinds of creatures that could be lurking in the forest. The city girl was more scared of a few trees than a busy freeway.

Then, the Brooklyn Art Library advertised their annual call for sketchbooks. An artist can purchase a small, blank, sketchbook with a brown cover to fill in any manner. It is then mailed back to the art library and included on an national tour. Finally, it is permanently housed in the Brooklyn Art Library.  I purchased one and used the theme,” Through The Forest Wilderness”.

I took pictures of the trees right at the edge of the lawn. I walked a few feet into the forest and took more pictures. I printed them in black and white, small enough to fit one picture on each page, and glued them down. Each image is a photograph altered by drawing over it with pencil.

I worked in a stream of consciousness way, making intuitive decisions about what areas to darken, which to keep light, what lines or shapes to emphasize. I was surprised at the leering little faces that emerged, and the doorways that appeared. The images reflected my discomfort at the totally new environment I had thrust myself into when we moved. Yet, the doorways symbolized I was open and ready to step into new experiences. They are entry points for transformational  energies and information that will shape my life here in Oregon.

The Forest Will Keep Your Secrets

This is a 2019 series of acrylic paintings that followed the 2019 Brooklyn Art Library piece, “Things I Left Behind.” The first eight are 5″ x 7″, the next eight are 8″ x 10″.

The paintings that follow are 11″ x 14″, 14″ x 18″, and 16″ x 20″

These images are a continuation of the ideas and imagery that I explored in the black and white pencil drawings on ink jet prints. These are about the mysteries in the dark of the forest. I worked quickly and intuitively. I wanted to capture the shadowy presences in the woods, the energies that had sensation and psychic input, but no concrete form.

Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook 2019

I created a sketchbook for the 2019 Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project. The theme is “What I Left Behind.” It is an exploration and purging of the anger, rage, frustration, and spiritual struggle surrounding a legal battle to keep my property after being defrauded in the purchase. The paintings I created for the book are small, about 3″ x 5 “, the size of the sketchbook pages. I printed color pictures of my house and yard, then torn them up and rearranged the pieces on paper. I then painted over the collages, responding intuitively to the colors and shapes. The process of making the art helped me deal with the frustrating legal proceedings and make peace with leaving this home behind.

Sketchbook Images

These mages are from a sketchbook I started back in 2010.  At the time I  was processing many ideas of transformation, new growth, and fresh opportunities in my life.  It was two years before we were finally able to move to Oregon.  The intention in my mind was set, I had started searching for a property online. Nine years later, 2019, I am still adding to the sketchbook.

Each  drawing is a quick study, a musing, a symbolic representation of my state of emotions and mind at that moment.  There are quite a few pages left in the book. The intention is to finish it, come what may.

Into The Woods

These mages are from a 2017-2018 series of ink jet prints altered by pencil overlay. I drew on the original print with graphite pencil, altering the dark and light patterns and creating optical illusions of depth that did not exist in the original. The foreground and background became fragmented or changed into solid shapes or deep space. There is pareidolia throughout each drawing. Weird little faces appear and morph into strange creatures. Interestingly, these are taken from pictures of the trees that are on three sides of the house. This series is an insight into my own psyche and my awareness  of  the elemental energies of the forest.