Other Forms

Sometimes, when I wander the world, I think about the other art forms I could have chosen if I hadn't become a writer. The mystery and grace of music calls to me. The sheer physicality of dance is tantalizing. The essential powers of image and color are so elemental I rely on them constantly in my own language work.

Yesterday, I stumbled on a small exhibit at a rather hoity-toity gallery in downtown Ballard. I don't normally go into this particular gallery because I've had at least one experience with a certain clerk where I felt, errr, out of place and naive for inquiring about the price of an oh-so-expensive piece of antique jewelry. On this day, I'd seen the clerk (also the owner and chief artist) leave the gallery and walk down the street, so when I peered into the window and thought about entering, I felt suddenly emboldened and adventurous. I went in.

The art that I found was so exquisitely beautiful that I wished at once that I'd had something to do with its making. It isn't so strange for me to look at something and think "I wish I'd thought of that", but these sculptures made me ache to learn this art form. They felt both personal and universal. Beautiful and odd. Familiar and alive.

The sculptures I saw were by a local Seattle artist named Patty Grazini. They are made, (I was told by a much more friendly clerk), entirely out of paper. Each figure is an animal, based on a real woman from history. Grazini found articles from 1880-1910 in the NY Times archives that inspired each piece, and they are almost as entertaining as the figures themselves. These articles were carefully printed and framed near by. Please click on this link to visit her site and see more of these gorgeous creatures.

Owl, the Poetess:

Wolf, the Arsonist:

Her exhibit is currently running at Curtis Steiner's Gallery in Seattle, Washington.


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