Last fall I was invited to contribute a piece to this show which opens December 16 at the Sheen Center in New York City. Though I have created a few portraits of Dorothy Day (see my recent posts for two of them), I chose to send this scratchboard drawing instead. The exhibit juxtaposes excerpts from Dorothy's writings with art addressing the ideals she devoted her life to such as social justice, voluntary poverty, resistance to racial prejudice, and nonviolence. The artists represented in the show include those, like myself, whose artwork has appeared in The Catholic Worker newspaper as well artists who have been homeless and imprisoned. My image of a woman kneading dough was originally created to illustrate Christ's parable of the leaven, certainly apropos considering the strength and persistence of the legacy inspired by Dorothy's life. I also see in this image the voluntary simplicity of Dorothy, her respect for domestic work, and her service to others. The woman's head scarf adds another evocative connection to Dorothy who often wore one.
Once, while working for Franciscan Communications, my art director mentioned that she noticed my tendency to incorporate my own illustrations into my graphic design. She thought perhaps I would be happier as an illustrator! I took her advice, and have been doing freelance illustration since 1995. I still like to use my own illustrations when designing a piece, as in this Save the Date card for NSEA. The background depicts the salmonberries and roses found in the Pacific Northwest. The fish are Chinook Salmon. After completing the scratchboard illustrations, I had them scanned then added color in Photoshop. Ultimately they were placed into an InDesign file and output for printing.