Two years after leaving my job and home in San Francisco in search of a place to live that I can afford, where art can be my first priority, and where community is strong, I have found an exceptional opportunity. My friend, artist Sara Everett, decided to buy a land trust house in West Seattle, to share with another artist. I am that lucky other artist.
In this transitional period, by way of service exchanges or small contributions to shared living spaces—supported by first unemployment, then a tiny retirement, and best of all (the way I always prefer to roll), painting sales—I have managed to help a friend through the final year of her life with cancer, to graduate from a digital design training program, and to carve out painting, family, and exploring time in Montana, which produced not only one of my favorite animal portraits ever, but also some good friends as a result. That portrait helped me move myself and a chunk of art supplies from there to Seattle.
This final step, however, has to be done within a narrow window, so there is no time to fit in a commission or even wait on the uncertainty of selling work. I’ve spent this last month in Seattle tearing out filthy carpet, completing the dry-walling/mudding on the ground floor area that Sara and friends opened up by tearing out a couple of walls, sharing the painting and the cleaning of the whole house, and overseeing the Russian floor installers, Vladimir and Alexi, to make the house move-in-able. Now I am back in the Bay Area to load up my belongings and artwork, and drive it all back to Seattle.
I can, more or less, cover the basics on my tiny UC retirement in this transition period, but the funds from this campaign will pay for that which is beyond my means, namely, my moving costs: flight back to SF, the SF-to-Seattle moving truck, supplies & labor for load and unload, a rental in the Bay Area to haul away surplus stuff, storage/rent overlap, GoFundMe fees, and print costs…more about that (with images) on my campaign page, here: https://www.gofundme.com/west-coast-movesf-to-seattle.
I would like to offer contributors their choice of a 5” x 7” print from my nascent digital art portfolio, for any contribution over $50. It is a small token, I know, but one I very much want to give. The Klimt Deer series is based on a photo belonging to my brother-in-law, Erik Kalsta, which was shot on one of the wildlife cameras he has installed around his Big Hole River Valley ranch in southwest Montana to track wildlife and spot transitioning predators. I used it as the jumping off point for a couple of pieces over my time in Montana this last year. [Just note the number of the print you would prefer in the comments section of your donation.]
This support means the world to me.
I’ve worked very hard to keep the vision of what is truly important in front of me, as I have explored places where it would be most possible. I have no illusions about art-making being easy anywhere—but certain fundamentals have to factor into the mix to even have a shot at getting the work done. I was ready for and in need of community, and the one that has risen up to meet me, as I have, quite ungracefully, found my way along over these last two years, is a thing of beauty. I am humbled by the kindness I have experienced. And the toughness—and kindness—and understanding it has forced out of me.
You can see the house we’ve been transforming with a whole lotta love and sweat and the essential help of a few good friends and family here. We have come to love it. The neighbors are all fellow land-trusters—lovely people, lots of kids, which I find surprisingly wonderful—the house is sound and we’ve made big strides towards making it beautiful, and functional for art-making. I am beyond excited to set up my studio and dive into the Art part of this enterprise.
If you could make a donation and share my campaign with others, I would appreciate it. I know that money is tight for many people, and I know there are an overwhelming number of hardships in the world at present, so please know that even $5 helps make some piece of this puzzle possible.
With your help, I am confident that by the new year, there will be art again. And I promise to pass on the karma every way that I can. I am grateful for your consideration.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Con mucho cariño,
PS: a link to video with more information about the Land Trust house and the beginning of fix-up here: https://vimeo.com/235169707