I've been working on a small series of watercolors to hash out ideas for my large embroidery panels. The day after the election of Trump, I sat depressed in my studio, not sure of what was to come. I think a lot of artists had one of the most intense days in the studio ever that day. I know I did. I had no desire to make anything but I knew I had to go through the motions regardless. I began drawing hash marks. When I worked as an urban planner (back before Illustrator!), we would use hash lines to color our plans and drawings. We even had a layer of lined paper that we would lay underneath as a guide. Peter Calthorpe's office devised this method to keep the drawings consistent between staff members. Well, I resorted to the old method to get back to work and suddenly, a person emerged.
I rarely include images of people in my work, I never have, even when I was a photographer. So it came as quite a shock to see this shadow emerge on its' own. So here I am now, spending several days drawing people after people.
And then I began to move it into my watercolors. And now I can see how this could move into my embroideries as well.
And then, a week later, I receive an email from a very, very important organization, one who has spoken out very loudly in the New York Times to Trump, asking me to create work for them. Well, I knew right away what I would create for them. I would make more and more of these people, these faceless, voiceless people who need someone to be there for them. To speak for them. And so I make. And all of this work I'm doing? Half of the money I make for the watercolors, the etchings and the embroideries of the Syrian Refugee Crisis will be donated as directly as possible to the Syrian Refugees. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I feel like so very little time to do it.