I finished my outside inspiration project this weekend. I went through what seemed, to me, an unexpected thought process for this project. My jumping off word was “piece.” Such an abstract word. And this gocco print may not exactly say “piece” to anyone in particular, but in a way, it does to me. My first association for this word was with cake, a piece of cake, followed by a gun, which I have heard referred to as a piece. You know, in movies. Cake – gun. Such an odd pair of objects to get stuck in my head in reference to this word. As much as I would still like to explore these two things, separately and together in juxtaposition, neither of them were images I felt excited enough about to take into print.

Ink Blobs

Then, after awhile, every time I would think about “piece,” my brain skipped, in a way, like a record player, and I would see the word “peace” written in my mind’s eye. Piece::Peace. Pieces of Peace. This was where I really wanted to go. I experimented with peace signs and doves, symbols of peace, broken in pieces, but the inspiration for this image really ended up coming from a quiet, peaceful moment in my kitchen, seeing organic shapes as pieces of a whole, feeling each of those pieces in my hand, like smooth river stones, as I drew them. Peace, to me, is both a simple, quiet thing, and a multifaceted, constructed thing. It is built by one, and also by many.


Since these weren’t intended for any particular number of people, they are gocco printed in a small edition of 13, on heavy fine art watercolor paper, using two screens. I had a little bit of a challenge registering the two print runs, as some of the paper was still curled and moved a little bit when printed. Oh well. Working with gocco forces my normally perfectionist brain to accept imperfection. The hollow “pebble” shapes are printed using silver and dark blue ink mixed together, it turned out to be a really nice shade and texture, especially when I test printed it on dark gray paper. I purposely printed the image off center, hoping for a bit of imbalance, which I think I achieved, I just hope it doesn’t feel accidental. As soon as I get the edition signed and numbered, I plan to make a few of them available in my little shop, so keep an eye out!


This project was an exploration for me, of language, expectation, meaning, inspiration and instinct. It is abstract, just like the word that inspired it. I just loved being part of this little project with Erin. There’s a little bit more story for me to tell about the word that I chose for her, “tea,” but that will come tomorrow, I hope. We are planning on continuing the project, officially, but with a few tweaks to the format, and another artist will be joining us as well! It’s all very exciting! Do stay tuned for more Wordplay!