Songs on canvas shaped by craft
I created ten abstract paintings on 11×14 inch canvases – one inspired by each song on Hurricane Coming.
The images that came to me when I’d listen to these songs were tactile and domestic – blankets, quilts, pottery, cloth, wood, earth. I was drawn to the delicate associations of craft arts, of making something with my hands, of grounding activities. As much as the abstract style allowed me to paint with the intuitive “feeling” of how each song might be expressed visually, through colours, shapes, and composition, the art and craft forms imposed structure on each painting, giving each piece focus and direction.
You can get these paintings as a set of postcards with download codes for each song or as a collection of art postcards.
WAIT LOVE: artwork inspired by PYROGRAPHY
Bold lines go deep and are difficult to erase. The marks of a tumultuous relationship are indelible, etched on the body, the mind, the heart. When letting go is the right decision, but you are still haunted, they’re still under your skin, they still know how to make you dizzy and set you off-balance. The art of writing with fire – pyrography – burns shapes and designs into wood with a heated pen. Wood is a living thing, and every living thing reacts to a flame in a unique way.
LEAVING CAME EASY: artwork inspired by QUILTING
I wasn’t sure who I was or where home was anymore. Neglecting important relationships, using travel as a distraction and a way to evade responsibility, feeling like I was in pieces, like I had been shedding scraps of myself on the road. A quilt layers cotton batting between cloth, and in rest and reflection, stitches those lost scraps back together, creating something beautiful made for comfort and warmth.
GHOST TOWN: artwork inspired by DATA BLANKETS
The scenery stretches out in strips of purple and yellow. The next town is more than just a stop on the road, more than its census reports and construction surveys. The people we meet are more than just our first impressions. It takes empathy and curiosity to seek out their stories and make a deeper connection. I often feel self-conscious when I’m on the road, like I’m an outsider who doesn’t fit in, and everyone around me can see it. It’s tempting to put up walls when encountering an unfamiliar face, but a bit of kindness can go a long way in creating space for acceptance and understanding between strangers. Data blankets are the perfect combination of nerdy science and cozy textiles. They depict temperature changes or sleep patterns as crocheted or knitted rows of coloured yarn. Stringing stories together.
ECHO: artwork inspired by COLLAGE
After the drama and destruction of a wild storm lies betrayal and loss, a barren landscape in its wake. Uneasiness – a relationship that’s crashing down, an ecosystem that’s collapsing, and the realization of seeing it coming but not doing the work to save it. When scraps of paper are spread out, rearranged, and glued together, a whole new reality is created: a collage. The juxtaposition can be unsettling, and reveal an unexpected or uncomfortable truth.
ONE MORE CHANCE: artwork inspired by VISIBLE MENDING
Only when we are honest can we ask for forgiveness and move forward, recognizing and taking responsibility for our mistakes. Uncovering the past and allowing ourselves to be open and vulnerable – these are steps in the healing process. By unabashedly revealing the work of mending, more strength and stability is achieved. Visible mending, the Japanese art of sashiko, is a sewing technique used to repair or patch torn clothing. The stitching reinforces the worn area, and draws attention to the repair, treating it as an artistic and deliberate decoration.
HOPE LIVES: artwork inspired by FLOWER ARRANGING
Hope is a renewable resource. Flowers are living things, born of nature, grown in earth. They are universal symbols of beauty. Flowers are arranged and arrive on happy occasions, or when we need comfort or sympathy, or alongside words that ask for forgiveness. Hope circles back. It’s in every sunrise and every spring thaw.
LAY LOW SHADOW: artwork inspired by ALCOHOL INKS
I keep thinking that I’ve left it in the past, but in reality, it will always be close by. I don’t hear from it for a while, and then I notice it slowly creeping back in through my body. I need to acknowledge that feeling and learn to create a healthy dialogue with it that removes the element of fear. Anxiety, like alcohol ink art, is concentrated and intense. Colours marble and blend into each other. I picture that darkness and discomfort as a liquid seeping in and spreading across a surface.
RUNNING START: artwork inspired by KINTSUGI
When confidence and trust are built up, love becomes something to run towards, full speed, with an open heart. After a long time feeling broken, hesitant, nervous, and prone to quitting when things get hard, a person can feel like they don’t measure up and are not worthy of love. Japanese kintsugi is the art of mending broken pottery with a gold or silver lacquer. Treating breakage and repair as part of our history, rather than a flaw to disguise.
CELEBRATE: artwork inspired by MOSAIC
Jagged fragments become integral parts of a bigger picture. Instead of being discarded, these little pieces are collected and arranged to create a work of art. I used to save certain outfits, dishes, even pens and notecards, for special occasions. I told myself they would be my reward for some great accomplishment. But then nothing was ever good enough. Nothing seemed to warrant a grand celebration. But victories are everywhere – they can be found in the smallest moments. And together those moments, pieces of coloured glass, pottery, or tile, form a mosaic.
HOLD THE LIGHT: artwork inspired by PATINA
Our history, our experiences, the traumas we carry, all inform our behaviors, the choices we make, and how we treat others – and ourselves. It happens naturally as we age and are exposed to the elements. When the earliest foundations of love are conditional, when the fear of criticism is around every corner, we remain constantly on high alert, always afraid of what we might do wrong, never feeling secure or supported. We grow to see others for their mistakes, to manifest our mistrust as cruelty, to never let anyone get close – unless the cycle is broken and we can finally feel safe. Patination, a chemical process in which metals are oxidized, creates colours, patterns, and textures. When applied deliberately as an artistic process, this look, otherwise attributed to worn and weathered objects, becomes an intentional and striking transformation.