These are just a few of the books that sustained me throughout my youth. The Disney book is actually a replacement copy I discovered in a local thrift shop; I had loved the original copy right out of existence. The other two are first editions with text blocks just barely connected to their spines. The paper is yellowed, the pages creased, the covers worn smooth along the edges where I held them repeatedly. I loved fairy tales growing up and as I head towards my fifties, I realize that my art is slowly, surely leading me back towards the beloved characters that accompanied my childhood. I'm making the acquaintance of new friends as well, creatures and critters of my own making that have nestled quietly in my mind for years, waiting for the right moment to push forward into my consciousness.
My word/theme of the year is "story" but I think I can safely say that "story" might turn out to be the word for the rest of my (art-making) life. I don't have to remind myself about my word; I don't have to periodically check-in and see how my life is aligning with "story." I feel like I am inhabiting "story" every day. All of my current projects connect (mostly directly) with story. All those story threads that wove themselves through my past work are coming together and I want to spend time - lots of time - examining and embellishing this thrilling tapestry that is my life. I want to be a storyteller always, revisiting classics and birthing new tales in paint, paper, ink, cloth, and clay. I'm going to take it a year at a time (I want to remain open to change and unexpected insights) but right now, the word "story" feels like it could really have a long-lasting impact on my art.