I wasn't always an artist, but I have always been a creative person. And I was raised in Wyoming by two scientists who taught me early about the importance of taking care of our planet. As a child I was always anxious about pollution, overpopulation, the hole in the ozone layer, and global warming. That worry for what we are doing to our planet has never left. But I can't function in a state of anxiety, and I am motivated to act by beauty and inspiring stories of people making positive changes. So this book is my own small way of trying to make a positive change.
When I started making art as a young adult, I quickly discovered that I loved printmaking. And since I have always loved books, reading, and writing, when I learned how to make handmade books I was in heaven. I did blog posts about discovering printmaking and bookmaking on my other blog Art on the Page if you'd like to read that. Below are some of my handmade books.
For some crazy number of years (20ish?) I've been making pictures of Earth from space. What a gorgeous planet! One of the first ones I did was actually made from different colors of dirt glued onto a board. You know, the Earth made from earth.... :)
I know the idea of making pictures of our planet was influenced by a book I was given titled The Home Planet in the photo above. It was edited by Kevin W. Kelley and published in 1988- a long time ago now! It's a gorgeous compilation of photos taken of Earth from orbit and quotes from the astronauts around the world that have been to space. I love the quotes so much! This is one by Yuri Glazkov of the USSR:
After eighteen days of a space mission I was convinced that all visible space- the black emptiness, the white, unblinking stars and planets- was lifeless. The thought that life and humankind might be unique in the endless universe depressed me and brought melancholy upon me, and yet at the same time compelled me to evaluate everything differently. Nature has been limitlessly kind to us, having helped humankind to appear, stand up, and grow stronger. She has generously given us everything she has amassed over the billions of years of inanimate development. We have grown strong and powerful, yet how have we answered this goodness?
Reading the words of people who have been to space and having seen the photos and satellite images has had a huge impact on me. And I keep trying to create artwork that honors the beauty of our planet. Of course, nothing compares to the real thing, but I have enjoyed trying to make something interesting and pretty. Here is a combination of some of my favorite things: printmaking, books, and our planet.
At the same time I've been sporadically making pictures of the Earth, I've also been creating stories and artwork and picture book dummies for children. I love the whimsy and fun of illustrating for children! I've been trying for many years and many stories to hit upon the right combination and get a book traditionally published. It hasn't happened yet. But this book I'm making now, Our Home, combines my love of children's books and teaching respect for our Earth and all of the life here. I've submitted it to some publishers, but not many. Right now I'm planning to self-publish. And that gives me the freedom to share the pages and progress as I go along. So that's what this blog is all about. Lots of printmaking, book progress photos, and updates. I hope you enjoy it!