My first book, made when I was about 5 or 6, is about horses, and features a drawing on the cover that looks like a propane tank with legs. Inside is a poem about a colt that isn't that bad for a 6 year old. After that there were other books, featuring myself as the greatest horsewoman in the world, and other romances. Sometime in high school I made books about cats and stoned girls named Althea, who sat around under trees, smoked dope and thought about the future.
Then came a 30 year stint as a potter, interrupted a few times by an attempt at a Book of Hours (still a work in progress) and a little hardbound book filled with collages.
With the end of my career as a potter, books came back. My husband, ever able to see into my soul, gave me a computer, I bought the cheapie Photoshop, and have been deeply and happily engaged in making books ever since.
They started out as something completely made just for myself, a relief after years of what often felt like pots on demand. But friends would see them, my sister loved them, and things grew more public from there.
The books provided a place to put the emotions of my post-potter work as a chaplain in a neo-natal intensive care unit. But they grew from there to become more humorous, and though some of the darkness of the NICU still appears in some of the books, I think it was always there in myself.
Early influences were my cousin Cheri, Tomi Ungerer and Charles Addams. Later I discovered medieval Books of Hours and other early manuscripts. I love old diaries and ledgers, autograph books, and old documents. I have kept a journal myself since 1968.
Books have always played a very large role in my life. I look to books for information, instruction, inspiration, solace, engagement and oblivion. If all else fails, I have been known to read cereal boxes.