Years ago I bought a 1910 Sears and Roebuck house. It gave a new meaning to the word fixer-upper. The house was covered in dated, flowery wallpaper, and when I started the renovation, I discovered that the wallpaper was holding the plaster and lathe together. I was struck by the fact that something so decorative had morphed into a structural element and given spine to a decaying house.
For this show I used wallpaper designs I found in books as inspiration, sparked by that old Boulder house. I needed the decorative backdrop to explore the more sober theme of losing both parents in swift succession. I had heard that dealing with an estate of a beloved, no matter what the size, is fraught with challenges and now I certainly agree. I was struck by the charge of stuff that the dead leave behind, the power it holds, and was surprised by my own reactions to tangible property. Why do we get so attached to things and why do we think “stuff” really matters?
I used this show to explore the swift distillation of a person’s life to taxes, tangible property and record keeping. I often felt that administration took over the real business of mourning. Painting this show was a meditation on these issues, but the process brought me back full circle to celebrate the grace and light in my parent’s lives while reminding me to walk the line in my own.
This is a mirrored and repeated image of one of those paintings.
I am a careful consumer and prefer to shop small, shop sustainably and/or shop locally. That said, I do love giving gifts and prefer giving something other than a gift card. I love the pageantry around solstice and Christmas but loath the attendant commercialism. The antidote? Shop early, keep a list of ideas year-round and don’t forget to have fun with the process. My favorite gifts were homespun — I used to grow amaryllis for teacher gifts or I support other artists. I am always looking for wrapping paper that is non-denominational, different and playful. I love the experience of opening a well-wrapped package with a thoughtful card. So the studio decided to produce its own line of wrapping paper for the holidays and beyond. So come wrap it up with us.
Matte heavy weight (70#) FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper; acid-free with a super smooth finish.
20″ x 29″. Wrapping paper is sold by a single flat sheet. Sheet will be gently rolled and shipped in a corrugated mailing tube.