Years ago in 1991, someone I knew told me an arresting dream they’d had. I don’t totally remember it, but it was about terrible suffering and catastrophe. Most of the people in the dream were in trance like states with one or two raising the alarm. The dream impressed me as apocalyptic and I made an acrylic painting taking off from the dream. The painting now reminds me of the huge number of migrants fleeing war and persecution and it reminds me of the effects of climate change we’re already seeing and that some are having trouble acknowledging.
For a while now I’ve wanted to make the painting into a card deck, since I love card decks. It’s the opposite of Mirrors of the Heart favourable deck that I made in 1994. Recently, I’ve had the courage to move forward with the idea. I say courage because for a while I told myself that I shouldn’t put out images of the dark parts of life. But I’ve decided otherwise because I believe we can’t deal with trouble unless we first of all face it. So, I’m calling the deck Wake Up–The House is on Fire and the Water’s Rising!
To create the deck, I’ve taken many photos of the work, zeroing in on different groups and faces and cropping the images. The deck will have 25 small square cards, including one title card and all, except one, are scenes of extreme suffering. I also wanted to create one card not in the original painting that could symbolize what it would take to wake up. But since it’s beyond me to know what might allow that in different people, the idea of a key came to mind–a key to awakening that could mean different things to different people. The key image is one of the cards and I’m also putting it on the back of each card. I’ll be sending it off to Moo for printing and will let you know how it turns out.
Here’s the whole painting plus two of the cards, including the key.
As I’m going through my old journals, I find forgotten elements–particularly the content of dreams. A few weeks ago, I came upon a curious and appealing dream fragment from June of 1993. At that time, I awoke with words telling me that centuries would pass before we discovered that the “L” in “Lion” was understood as its birdnote. I loved this strange sentence and decided to make a linocut from the words.
The lino that I’ve used is the same soft cut material that I used for the Sisters of Mercy print. It is very much easier to cut than the tough grey or brown burlap backed battleship linoleum that I used as a young woman. I’ve taken the first proof (rough copy) of the print and will work on it further. I plan on leaving the final print quite similar to this first proof–it just needs a bit of further carving and experimentation with the colours.
Here’s the inked green lino and the hand printed proof.
Recently, I decided I’d like to draw some cartoons. I’ve started with a dream I had several years ago that captivated me for its strangeness. I’ve done a lot of imagining and writing since then on the Care of Latent Kittens Course. Perhaps you’ll see some of that here. I keep going over the writing and thinking it’s either fine or it’s terrible!
However, I had fun with the naive look of the cartoon and have been working on several others. If any of them work out, I’ll also post them here. I did the drawing with Faber Castell Pitt markers. I like them because they’re waterproof and non-toxic, so I don’t pass out from the fumes while working. I also love the array of colours and sizes to choose from.
I continue turning some of my old prints into origami booklets. And, as so often happens, I’ve been changing the work in ways I didn’t first set out to do. I tried a few booklets with simple collages of some poetry I’ve written. Then, this morphed into bits of writing about the weather or a dream I’ve had. I’ve added colour to the prints with Pitt markers and am now enjoying a freer process than my first attempts.
Here’s another print (A Mask of the Goddess, 2 from 1974) in a pile of linocuts. Then there’s some photos of the most recent booklet I’ve made from folding and cutting the entire print.
Dreaming of flowers on a day when there’s an extreme cold weather alert in Toronto. This small felt appliqué is one I made at the end of last year with merino wool felt. I enjoyed contrasting machine die cut flowers with hand embroidery. Keep warm, people, and dream on!
I have one of my favourite linocuts hanging in my work room. Here’s a photo of it, wrinkles and all. I made this linocut in 1990 under my birth name, so not to wonder what’s up with the name—if you’re interested in such things.
I call this print The Rose Tattoo after a dream I had near the end of 1989. (I record my dreams, finding them a source of creativity and inspiration.) In this dream, there was a man with one hand and an unusual face who had beautiful rose tattoos on his body. When I made this linocut, I didn’t try to replicate the dream in a realistic way, but used it as a jumping off place. This is what I came up with.