In early April 2020, I started to make sketches of plants in my garden. I set out to be an observer of the things I wanted to look at closely and don’t often take as much time for, during a non pandemic life. Each day I would add a few more, along with the birds that often appeared. Since my medium is woodblock printing, the drawings became the image I carved into the wood to make the print. I was also inspired by a tiny Japanese calendar page, from April many years ago, that has perched on a shelf in my studio. I decided to make a woodcut that would be my “calendar” of quarantine for the month of April 2020. As each month passed and the pandemic spread, with social distancing, and mask wearing a daily concern, I now had a series of woodcuts and a goal of making one a month for a year.
Each woodcut is a record of that month in the garden. Fruit trees flower and bear fruit. Fountain and bird bath draw feathered visitors, some more rare than regular. The RedTail hawks perch in the distant limbs of the eucalyptus tree. Events near and far creep in and find their way into the center of the composition, the drama of captured prey, my pet’s illness, waiting for family, racism played out in the streets, and the loss of a supreme icon for equality. The waiting for return to a “normal” life is palpable, but bringing my daily attention to what is right outside and taking notice is beautiful and satisfying.