Note to Self

Note to Self is an ongoing series of letterpress prints of messages spoken to myself, things that I know, but need to repeatedly hear. These messages are at times literal—Breathe, Listen, Stay True—, sometimes metaphoric—Eat Donuts—, and at others a play between the two—Sunshine Exists. By compressing statements printed with oversized, laser cut letterforms into a 10 x 10 inch space, readily legible signifiers are abstracted becoming shapes. Words and phrases that can easily be read, internalized, and repeated as mantras are transformed into symbols that are conceptual objects of thought. Printing each letterform independently develops layered shapes and depth of space through built-up tints of color and density of ink. The methodic spelling and printing process slow time, require intent focus, and foster reflection upon the message at hand. The production of each print in this series is a meditation. Each product is an emblem, a manifestation of its message’s meaning. 

In the fall of 2019 I wrote a proposal for my 2020-21 sabbatical (postponed) titled Dark in which I questioned when living in time that has become so dark, how can we reassert our world as one of light? I aspired to “develop and produce a body of artwork investigating the relationship between darkness and illumination—their marriage, polarity, duality, interdependence, unpredictability, conflict—as a metaphor for the challenging times in which we live. This work will explore the confounding mental space we inhabit trying to understand convoluted global, national, societal, and personal challenges.” As the pandemic descended and life became even heavier, this line of inquiry became herculean, something I wanted to run from rather than confront. In the end, I think that I found my way back to it from an unexpected angle. Note to Self has become a way to make light a totem to herald a better future.

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