Here are all the linoblock images and what inspired them from my cumulative print depicting my first 2 weeks in Key West, Florida during a month long residency at The Studios of Key West.
February 1st: Causeway
This is all about travel and heat. I landed at Ft. Lauderdale and traveled to Key West on the shuttle bus. The road looked white hot at times and the air was full of tropical moisture. It felt like I had stepped into endless summer.
February 2nd: Feb 2 Space 2
This is a depiction of the Keys Eyes exhibition which opened at The Studios of Key West on February 2nd, 2012. This is the same space my work was shown in on the 16th. I wandered over to see the work and took this shot with my camera and translated it into a lino. It was a particular challenge as the space is bright white.
February 3rd: At the Art Store
I came across this sign posted on the door of the local art and craft supply store. I thought it had just gone up, a spontaneous little note. Instead I hear back that it's been on the door for years. Unknowingly, I had chosen an image well-known to many in the Key West art community.
February 4th: Boat Parking
Saw this as I was walking toward a marina. These boats were all parked up high, like in an unfinished wood framed two story garage.
February 5th: Down the Street
Every street I come across, as I look down it I see a tangle of wild plant growth and cars parked into what seems one of the two lanes. The streets seem very full and impossibly narrow but very enticing.
February 6th: Bus Pass
Here is my stylish 31 day Key West bus pass. I was happy to have my own cheap way to get around town, though I have walked way more as the bus is once every hour and one bus stops running at 5:30pm. The bus driver honks his horn every 2 minutes or so. It's not because of the traffic; it's because he's saying hello to everyone he knows.
February 7th: Coral
I started noticing all the coral around. It's hidden and overshadowed in places but my eye kept looking at it. The whole island is coral so I thought it appropriate to focus on the "bedrock of the community" so to speak.
February 8th: Life on a Houseboat
Unexpectedly during another walk, I stumbled upon houseboats. Looking at people living their life on the water I started to zero in on how these boats are moored. And then I saw the other creatures who are also moored there: the little mollusks clinging to the chains and the ropes.
February 9th: Chicken Crossing Road
Chickens and roosters (and their babies sometimes), can be expected at any street corner. I was walking down a street and this pair were walking toward me on the sidewalk. I stood still to take their picture and they couldn't decide on where to go next. They went back and forth but it was obvious they waned me to step aside so they could pass my on the sidewalk. In the end we both moved at the same time, me forward and they toward me, and at the last minute they darted out onto the road, avoiding my legs and running around me to pass me on the street.
February 10th: Subject Matter
I was sitting on my front step, carving away on a woodblock, completely lost in my work when I heard little clicking sounds. The class for "getting to know your camera", which had been meeting at the back, was now right in front of me, all cameras aimed at me as I carved away. Instinctively I put my carving down and grabbed my camera to take their image, but they had all scampered off except for this one guy. I am sure he has me taking his picture as well. This was my first experience with what it would feel like to be followed by the paparazzi. I can say it is not pleasant. In only a few seconds I felt like all those lenses were stealing my image from me and it felt like a black hole. It was strangely mesmerizing.
February 11th: Newsboy
I've been buying the Key West Citizen when I remember to, and that's almost everyday. I was in a car and at a busy corner, i saw a 'newsboy" hawking papers to motorists. We called him over as I needed my daily paper. I haven't seen a real live newsboy, with the newspaper delivery bag slung over his shoulder, in years. They do have the newsies who hand out the free papers in Ottawa, but the real paper, that is to be paid for and not given away as a freebie to entice people to read the paper again, is a rarity to my mind.
February 12th: Sheriff's Animal Farm
We went to the Sheriff's Animal Farm (see my post here) and there were a lot of rabbits. This one, names Fluffy, was being shown off by one of the inmates. He was a great big fluffy bunny. We weren't allowed to hold Fluffy ourselves, though we did ask. They do have rules to abide by at the Sheriff's Animal Farm.
February 13th: Yes, I Need the Heater On.
It was cold. I was cold. I didn't get any sympathy from my friends back home, or from the folks here either.
At home: It's ONLY 57F? Aw. Poor thing! How will you survive?
Here: But you're from Up North. How can YOU be cold?
This block shows the heating company guys coming to check to see if the wiring was hooked up for the heater. Apparently not. It is now.
February 14th: Frequent Visitor
This cat is one of the wanderer's who visits me. he comes the most. the other three aren't as regular. This kitty jumped on my lap and purred and purred then CHOMP bit me. I was okay with that. Caesar cat at home does the same thing. it's just cats being cats. Sometimes they get fed up with Humans.
February 15th: Work on the Line
This is an image of all my prints drying on the clothesline after being printed. The title also refers to putting myself and my work on the line.
February 16th: You Are Here.
It was about 3 years ago, could even be four, that I first visited Key West. I sat under a tree in front of a coffee shop completely enamoured of this place. There was a wooden sign with the name of the cafe on it and I took its picture. A year later I took that image out and put it in my paint program and replaced the signage with a fake marquee announcing my Key West Art Show. I put this image into a calendar gif and stared at it for a year, willing it to happen. On my second trip I visited the Studios. When i entered the main hall and saw the light in there and the railing up above I thought what a great old Southern building and I really want to be in it. And so I looked them up online and saw the residencies being offered and I applied. And there I was on February 16th, dream come true in a bigger way than I had ever envisioned. My name was on a marquee and lit up inside my exhibition space. I was having an art show in Key West. My block reminds me to enjoy the moment and the day and the accomplishment. And it marks it with the visitors' presence as well.