Deborah J. Milton
I have to paint images of the world I want to live in, a world in which my soul can flourish, and my descendants can, too. I paint – and write – to reveal a truth essential to me: We humans are inextricably connected to the ALL-OF-IT.
The Many Faces of Gaia:
In 2014, I began painting Gaia. Gaia is the name of the earth creating Goddess from Greek Mythology. Scientist, James Lovelock, gave that name to Earth to indicate that our planet is a living system. Painting Gaia gives a human face to the complexity that keeps all the planetary systems in balance.
Three years ago, I handcrafted a book based on these paintings called Ode to Gaia. The text was inspired by my vigil experience spent in an old growth clear cut. I made an edition of 200 handcrafted art books. Right after the edition sold out, a woman I’d never met ordered 20 more! Since I had none, I decided to self-publish a “real” book. I added more pages, and expanded the title> Ode to Gaia – Calling Forth Our Imaginal Selves is 64 pages of visionary art and poetic text. In order to carry the spirit of the handcrafted book forward, I used the original cover as the inside cover. That page and two others are designed for the reader to color.
Because of Covid:
In December 2020 I lost my studio space where I lived, taught, and painted. No longer able to paint large, I purchased an 8” square journal and committed to filling its 30 pages. I resurrected my watercolors, found my pens and colored pencils and came up with a layered approach similar to what I do in acrylic on larger canvases.
I painted a watercolor wash first and spent time gazing at it. As I saw images, I outlined them with pen, finally coloring-in with pencil.
I thought I’d be able to finish a drawing in an hour. HA!
I have to portray life’s mystery, its complexity, no matter how small the image.
Though I worked faithfully every day, the entire journal wasn’t complete until June 2021. Each drawing then inspired writing – a fresh perspective and a blessing to help us imagine new ways of thinking, choosing, being.
Twenty of these images are now a greeting card line titled: New Story Series.
Based on the same images, I’m making a very limited edition of hand-crafted art books, the pages printed by our local business, Custom Printing.
Another self-published art book will be ready this Fall: an illustrated parable in the style of a graphic novel. Title: I AM WE – the blessing of belonging: Parable and Practice
I look forward to sharing stories when you stop by!