A bad night’s sleep does not sit well with me. Ask George. And last night, I did not sleep well. Tossing and turning, waking up every hour to toss and turn some more. A restless night = crabby blogger this morning. But do you know what will turn my frown upside down? Wonderfully fun and happy artwork. While crabbing around this morning, after bearing too many Facebook statuses, links, etc re: um, odorous exports from bodily orifices, accidentally smearing blackberry jam on every article of clothing I’m wearing and falling up the stairs, one image kept coming to mind. This one, by Olympia, WA artist Mimi Williams…
Was it my mind being cyncial & sarcastic? Maybe. Or was my subconcious trying to remind me that no matter how the day is going, that my life is, indeed, dandy? Or maybe it was the universe reminding me of Mimi Williams’ work and nudging me forward to feature her on the blog. I’m thinking it was a combo of those last two.
Whatever the case, it gives me great pleasure to present Mimi’s wonderful linoleum prints to you. Seriously, these make me smile, so it is doing much for my mood just to peruse her website. Unlike a painting, which can evolve over time, a linoleum print must know what it will be from the beginning. The artist must decide the composition, the positive and negative spaces and such beforehand, because once you start carving into the linoleum, there’s no going back.
So it is no wonder that I am marvelling at how free and fluid these pieces seem to be. They flow with narrative detail, unlike most linoleum block prints I’ve seen, that are more, well, block-y.
There is something about the nature of her visual storytelling that seems both nostalgic and modern. Kind of in the way that Mid-Century design fits in so smoothly with contemporary design. Perhaps it is the way the design and colors remind me of groovy 1950s barkcloth.
The compositions suggest the capturing of a moment in time, almost photo journalistic in style. Almost like they could be screen-shots from an old movie or those wonderful old photographs found in your grandmother’s closet. Back before laptops and internet and smart phones, a slower, simpler time. A time when riding in the back of a truck was okay. Feeling the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, an open road before you.
If you’d like to see more of Mimi Williams’ work ( and I heartily suggest you do! ), check out her website. Now that I’m smiling, maybe I’ll indulge in some more happiness inducing activities.