Valentines 2013

2013, mixed media on paper, approximately 275 Valentine’s sent to my family and friends, edition 24, sizes vary.

Valentines are a neurotic, annual project that I ironically disappear during January, and part of February, to complete.  I have a system to prevent me from wasting all year obsessing over this project.   I never start before the new year, because that would be even more neurotic than my Valentines already are and I need to be done by the beginning of February to send them out from abroad.

When I was little, I loved distributing Valentines to my classmates.  In fifth grade, it started to get a little weird when people began to write love messages.  Later, in high school, it got sad when it wasn’t a class requirement and some people got Valentines from pining would-be lovers and I never got a thing.  My freshman or sophomore year at Sarah Lawrence, my friend Kirsty Mogensen gave me a hand made Valentine which forever changed my perspective back in favor of Valentine giving.  Giving makes up for not getting.  There is no shame in exposing my love for people.  It is important to let the people in my life know how I feel about them.   Everyone special in my life, who has touched me positively, and who I still think fondly of, deserves a Valentine.   Sometimes I do take people off.  Maybe their impact on me has waned.  Sometimes they do something horrible and that is that.  Sometimes they just fall too out of touch, despite my Valentine entreaties.

This project is not just a way to keep in touch and remember family and friends.  Each Valentine is an unencumbered doodle.  I don’t even think that each Valentine will be for anyone.  While I make them, I am thinking about materials, shapes, colours and designs.   I play for the fun of it and see what happens.  It is a great way to start the year.  It inspires me with new ways of art making.