Can I be honest with you all? It's been like running through cooling lava here lately. Do you ever have dreams where you're running: you're desperate to get somewhere, or to get away from something, but your legs are weak and you're so, so tired. Every third step you have to stop and there's no catching your breath. It feels like you're running through molasses, or cool flowing lava. Your destination never gets any closer. You feel like you're barely balanced, and you may just as likely tip over as move forward.
I've been doggedly stationed in my studio for the month of September, but it's felt like the walls are filling up with a warm sticky substance which has slowed my movements and is obscuring my sight line...I feel like I'm squeezing myself through a tiny aperture, or that I'm looking at everything through the wrong end of the lens. The work that has been coming in and out of my studio has been so great, so much fun. I have wonderful, delightful, creative, and spirited clients. But somehow it's felt like all of the work is swirling around me like a tempest and I'm standing in the middle trying to grasp at edges from out of the air.
I feel like these periods are blessings in disguise. I went up to the Mt. Hood area on the last day of summer. I needed a hike close to town, so chose Mirror Lake to Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain. It's a swift, easy hike which rewards with spectacular front row views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier.
Now, I've been kind of studio and housebound for many weeks. There are so many projects here on the home-front that need our urgent attention that my time in the woods has been small, and my legs are suffering. On the final stretch and scramble up to the summit, I started experiencing the real waking-life sensation of running through water. My feet felt SO HEAVY. I almost felt like I was dreaming, that I was experiencing that terrifying state of not being able to move forward, of being stuck in place, mashing muscles against thick air.
But step after step led me up, up, up. And then, I popped out on the summit, my head above water, above tree line, and above the clouds.
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There has also been lots of sweetness throughout this period of swimming through syrup.
The Machinist and I have been working hard on house projects ~ this past weekend we completed the gravel path to my studio that we've talked about for ages. No more muddy treks back and forth from the house to the print shack this winter.
I started a major purge, clean, and overhaul of my studio. I've dug deep into shelves that haven't been touched for years save to accumulate printing debris and cast-off projects. I feel like phase I is accomplished ~ the shelves are clean and open, the windows are washed, and the walls are refreshed with new artwork.
I was honored with a visit from Ian Tadashi Moore, who flew all the way from Michigan to visit with me and the other printer involved in his book project, Zōsan. We had a great relaxed time in my studio printing samples of one of the book's pages while he photographed portions of the process, and afterwards we enjoyed a beer on the back deck while chatting about print and our love of books and the tactile.
I have several client projects that I'll be telling you about soon, plus a full calendar of holiday shows coming up, and letterpress class happening at Oregon College of Art and Craft this fall ~ check out my new Upcoming Events tab under - Contact - in the menu. In fact, just check out the work I've been doing on my site! There is still plenty of work to do and galleries to build, but I'm loving what's up so far.
I've been spending lots of time catching up with friends and going for rambling walks in the neighborhood, discovering hidden nooks of hilly streets just across the river from me and wandering along the brownfields of St. Johns.
Finally, I crawled out from under my rock to go to a live performance by this incredible group of Ukrainian folk musicians, DakhaBrakha ~ you have to listen for yourself: check out this stunning video, and enjoy your weekend!