Assuming we know

We are all guilty of it, not asking enough questions
--assuming we know someone and their ever-changing
stories. Or worse yet, asking questions and not really
listening to the answers.

Making art, for me, is all about asking questions. Not
assuming a thing, but posing a problem or asking a
question, and seeing where it leads. Most often this
process leads to more and more questions and few
answers. This requires patience. Building a body of
work does not happen over night, but it does happen
slowly. I'd love to skip a step or two, assume I know
it all, make it all fit into a pinterest-like/crafty formula,
and then close this chapter, and finally clean up the
dining table. It is messy, my table and the process.

Today, I am asking questions about doors and also
examining this quote by the writer Elizabeth Gilbert,
"Each one of my books has been written to a different person, and 
always to somebody I know well. I find that this is almost the most 
important decision (“Who exactly is it for?”) because that intimacy 
with my imagined reader will completely determine my voice and how 
I tell the story. I think it’s important to keep that one reader in mind 
as you write, and to hold yourself accountable to the duty of 
delighting them or transporting them as well as you can. It keeps me 
honest, somehow, and gives me a more human touch, I hope."

I am not sure how that translates to making art, exactly, 
but I do know that my ten year old daughter is probably 
one of the best people I know at asking questions and 
then really listening to the responses. She is so naturally 
curious and observant. Were we all like that at ten? It 
seems like that is one of her greatest gifts, and something 
that she is teaching me. Maybe these doors are for her;
she won't mind that each door holds more questions than
answers. Each one leads to the next, and then back to
another. A cohesive body of work for me doesn't really
have a beginning or an end, but they are all connected
somehow and tell fragments of stories for Julia to ponder.
She will be asking questions about them, there is no doubt.
(By the way, the bowls are for you Anna, age 13. More to
come about that!)

Here are a few details of recent doors. I am not going to 
show too many entire works now before the big reveal in 
September. The exhibit of my artwork and LouAnn's words 
opens the beginning of September at the Lachaise Gallery
of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA

in-progress: gouache, charcoal, watercolor pencil

gouache, charcoal, acrylic paint, watercolor pencil, & coffee on paper

Grand Marais Door: gouache, charcoal, & coffee on paper

gouache, charcoal, acrylic paint, carbon transfer, watercolor pencil, coffee on paper

Office Hours: gouache, charcoal, & coffee on paper

Painting with coffee