We turned on some music and scribbled (6B water soluble graphite stick - basically a big fat pencil) to give some overexposed polaroids new life.
A week after my Aunt passed away, I found myself on Harstene Island with a heaviness. It felt like I was standing in a muddy hole. Not a deep one, but my body was so heavy that I couldn’t climb out. It was dark and damp. Moving was the only way out. It wasn’t easy, but I took a step and I picked up a rock, then a leaf, some grass. I looked up and saw roses. I reached for one, cut it, and put it in my pocket. I grabbed another. A thorn left a small scratch on my arm. Ouch. I started noticing more things. Bright green moss. Curly reddish brown - my favorite color - madrone bark. Things started to feel less dark. I dumped them out on a bench, organized them and then just… started moving things around.
How to make art with nature:
Step 1: Go for a walk. Gather some shit (not literally. leaves, rocks, sticks, dirt etc…)
Step 2: Move shit around while thinking of (choose one of the following or insert your own)
Someone you miss
Someone you love
Nothing at all
When I saw the notice that Recy Taylor had passed away in late December just a few days shy of her 98th birthday, I froze. The world seemed to stop. (Note: If you don't who she is, read or watch her story, say her name ((pronounced Ree-cee)), share her story.)
Although I can't remember or find the exact quote, something she said really helped me cope with my own experience with assault. She said that even though law enforcement had failed her (understatement of the century), she believed speaking up at very least made her assailants think twice before committing further crimes. I immediately started sleeping a bit better at night.
My grandmother was born and died the same years as Recy (1919-2017). I needed to talk to them both. Some might turn to a ouija board to do that, I turned to art.
Simply painting wasn't enough. I needed something more sculptural, something with layers. I started melting wax and found some old airline tickets. I turned off the logical side of my brain, turned on Tupac, and talked to them as I melted, carved, pressed pigments with bare fingers, and cut tiny pieces of paper from my past.