Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Borrowers as my Insperation

Just last night I finally printed a block I’ve been working on for some time.  In the midst of carving this block I was hit with several ideas.  The tile was the first idea; I decided I will name it The Borrowers.  I don’t know much about the books anymore, but as I child in the 80’s I had a few of these books and I remember having a copy of the animated movie recorded on VHS.  After I thought of the name, there was no other option, it’s too perfect. 
Fresh from the press as of last night.

This led me to start thinking about where my inspiration comes from.  I never gave it much though, in fact I would usually blow the question off stating something like; inspiration comes from wherever I may be.  But after some careful examination of my work I can pinpoint patterns in my inspiration and most of it comes from the carefree days of being a kid.  The rest of it comes from some very interesting and unusual adventures I participated in as a child, teenager and young adult.

When I was 15 I skipped across country with some friends of mine.  At the time I knew I was putting myself in danger, but I wanted to have adventures.  I felt like I was a boring, vanilla girl.  (Don’t get me wrong, vanilla is my favorite ice cream, I like it so I can spiff it up with other toppings)  I wanted to be an interesting person who could tell all sorts of stories and that people would remember.  I also wanted a change of scenery.  So I hopped in an old Volkswagen Van with some friends and went to New Mexico.  

I met a lot of new people and did some great art with some oil pastels and colored pencils I took with me.  Some of the people I ended up living with that summer became intrigued by my drawings and began to ask those silly inspiration questions.  I didn’t give their questions much though before dismissing them as my usual.  One day one of the fellas that always hung around started to talk about how he longed to go north to the Alaska/Yukon area.  And that’s when it happened.

I simply told them I spent a good amount of time up there.  All of a sudden everyone wanted to know my story.  Up until that point I thought it was just a silly, unrelated event from my childhood.  That summer in New Mexico I realized I had been more places than many people my age.  Hell, my childhood stuffed animal Pancake Popple had been more places than most people my age.  Between growing up military, moving around Europe, having a father that believed in getting rich quick, and gold mining up in Yukon I had a very adventurous childhood.

Standing on the front porch of a hippy house in New Mexico hundreds of miles away from my parents disapproving eyes, I realized why I skipped town against their orders.  I was looking for what I was use to having, adventure.

It wasn’t until many years later, back in Washington, attending college that I started to delve into the stories I accumulated up in Yukon.  I even went back to the journal I wrote in every night.   Journals are amazing, I am always flabbergasted at the things I wrote and I don’t remember.  I even have some drawings from those adventures I’ll have to dig up when I begin to share these stories.
But first I have to dig up my prints and writing I did back in college.   

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