It’s been a year since there has been a new post on the blog – certainly not my intention – but I felt it was certainly time to post an update and perhaps explain my absence.
For the last five years I have been working full time, which has been a big change from being a self-employed artist. During that time I moved from a rural setting to an urban one, got married and bought a house, among other life adventures. It has been a rich and rewarding time of change but it has also meant a change in my creative time and process.
I enjoy my work, and I also have the good fortune of working for an employer that believes that personal development can also enhance professional development. I was awarded a fellowship in the summer of 2010 and used the funds to purchase a set of professional wood carving tools. The carving project I did as part of this fellowship led to a commission from my employer – enough carving work to keep me busy for the next five years.
I am documenting this project on my WordPress.com website: SPS Form Plaque Project. Click through and have a look at the carvings I am currently working on. These carvings are a recording of the events from a given school year, and I am working on carvings for 1991 to the present to bring the project up-to-date. I am the fifth carver to work on the project since it started 93 years ago and also the first woman. The carvings collectively form an illustrative timeline of the history of the school going back to 1858, the first year students graduated – 203 carvings total prior to my beginning work. It is an unique and particular kind of work, a compelling tradition to participate in, and a privilege to have the work.
I still expect to find time every now and then to continue my artwork on paper – the Alchemy Notebook, Celtic inspired designs, and other woodcarvings – but they will definitely be fewer and farther between while I work on the plaques over the next few years. It has taken most of my creative time over the last two years to get this project up and running, but I am beginning to feel the rhythm and pace of the work and am hopeful that other creative projects will find their time too.