I always wanted to be an artist, but I’d heard about the “starving in a freezing garret” thing. While I wasn’t sure what a garret was, I understood the other bits, so I thought I’d better get another career first. Around 1979, when I had a job and was settled in, I started taking classes at the Glassell School here in Houston. Eventually I found my way to the print shop and began a wonderful journey.
One of my recurring themes over the years has been hobo symbols. When I was quite young, we lived in Idaho. My father was a minister and we lived near the railroad tracks. People came to our door often asking for food. One day my father came home to find a man sitting in the living room eating a sandwich. My mother was a very kind woman but might not have always thought things through. It was a gentler time though and we’d moved to Idaho from an island off the coast of Maine where there had been no such knocks on the door.
I remember my father saying, “You need to be careful. They’ll mark the house.” I didn’t know what he was talking about, but many years later I found a book that had hobo symbols in it. They were marks that would be left for the next people coming through, telling them where it was safe, who would give you some work or some food, and so on. They were nice graphic symbols, and I happily incorporated them into my artwork.
Though I am primarily a printmaker, weaving is another of my art forms. While I do make things like kitchen towels and scarves, I also weave tapestry. It’s a slow process but one I enjoy. I hope to be able to do both types of art for many more years.