Back in 2008, I felt inspired to try paper cutting as a medium. I have always loved to draw and doodle, but having majored in sculpture in school, I was missing a more tactile, 3-d material and process. When I moved from the West coast to the East coast to become a footwear designer, I lived in small rooms in shared spaces and didn’t have a lot of room to spread out and make things. I drew exclusively in 8.5″ x 11″ and sewed small bags. All my work was really contained. When I moved to the Boston-area, I suddenly had a huge room to “make” in, and tons of windows, and I didn’t live right in the city anymore so I had a lot less distractions. My work got a little bigger in size and that is where I tried paper cutting for the first time.
This horse with botanical motifs was the very first paper cut I ever made. I didn’t sketch it out, I just went for it. It felt natural, and I think it gave me a feeling of both drawing, and sculpting (carving the paper) and it just clicked! It forced me to simplify my designs and I really enjoyed the process. I made (4) 24″ x 18″ animals this year, and found my medium! I made a screen print of this horse paper cut, and this weekend finally had the chance to print it. I was never a little girl that was super into horses as a kid, but I did go to horse camp and I have always thought of them to be stunningly beautiful animals. Powerful but sensitive. I am always fascinated to read about the symbolic meaning of things, and when I researched symbolism of horses, I was not surprised to read that the Horse represents movement and travel, the desire to do so, and the freedom that we possess. It is a symbol of our strength, power, and abundance of choices. When we feel as if we are going through the motions of other people’s expectations, the Horse reminds of of our free will and passion for life. I created this work at a time when I was testing out all of these elements!
One weekend here in Portland, while hitting up thrift stores and estate sales, I came across a horse at every place I went. Iron horse bookends, A copper Horse statue, an needlepoint framed horse image, and vintage Breyer horses. I picked up each of these and created a vignette on my fireplace mantel, and I look at them every day. I think symbols come in and out of your life as a little physical reminder as to where you might be on your path. When I look at this horse paper cut, I am reminded that this was the first image on the path I am on now with my art, and I am so excited to work with this horse paper cut screen print!