Recently I was thrilled and honored to be invited on a trip by Collective Quarterly Magazine, and to be a featured artist in their Absaroka Issue. CQ is a collection of amazing individuals with an elusive and meaningful mission:
“Each issue follows select craftspeople to an offbeat location. Our camera lens brings into focus the often blurry creative process as they design uncommon objects. In these pages, you’ll find a carefully edited selection of dry goods, art, music, food, drink, and stories—all deeply rooted in the land and heritage around us."
As an attending artist, my job was to draw inspiration from my surroundings, experiences, interactions, and create something beautiful. Pouring together this unique combination, reading about how it has come together in the pages of the publication, CQ believes that the readers will aspire to more deeply explore their own passions, perhaps stoking their own inner creative fire.
I was especially excited for the trip because I was told that horses would be a significant part of it, and riding has been a huge part of my life since I was a little girl. My parents put me on a horse as soon as I could walk, and I am forever grateful for that gift. Horses instilled patience, work ethic, toughness, respect, & taught me at a very young age the important lesson of: If at first you don’t succeed, then brush off your chaps and get back on.
When I arrived and learned I’d be going on a cattle drive, it was a dream come true. While I do enjoy living in an urban environment, I have no doubt that the outdoors are my true home. Driving cattle took me back to my barrel racing days with the 4-H team.
Horses weren’t the only amazing part of the trip, though. We were able to soak it up at Chico Hot Springs, I discussed conservation and grizzly bears with Doug Peacock, camped in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and I won an axe throwing competition hosted by a former NBA-star-turned-cowboy Tom Black.
But I think the most amazing part of the trip was being able to get to know the people behind CQ. I’ve been lucky enough to know Seth Putnam for a while now, but I was not expecting for each and every other person on the trip to have that rare combination of passion, talent, warmth, and humor I seek out in people. It seems like it’s more difficult to make friends as one gets older, and I feel blessed beyond words to have made so many good ones in such a short amount of time.
When it came time to produce work inspired by the trip I had a hard time narrowing down which inspiration to focus on. There were so many. Ultimately I decided to create a cutting board inspired by the axe throwing competition, a collection of hand-carved Palomino spoons, and a very special version of my Coleman Stool, inspired by the Quaking Aspen trees of Glacier National park.
Here’s a link to Collective Quarterly’s site where limited editions are available for purchase. Check ‘em out. Get inspired. And remember...always go!