In 1981 I would never have imagined I'd still be creating a calendar in 2015. I didn't even know I'd do one in 1982.
In 1979 I did a graphics job for a little non-profit called Women's Resources. They needed name recognition and I wanted my paintings seen more widely, so I proposed jointly publishing the Women's Resources Orchid Poster. I wanted to sell it for $5 so that just about anyone could afford it. It sold out in six months, so we printed a second, larger edition and then a third after the second one, too, sold out. Along with the third printing I designed a companion piece, the Women's Resources Iris Poster.
In those days most wall calendars were either from the local hardware store, the Sierra Club, or featured paintings by dead male artists, so I proposed creating my own. I designed a third Women's Resources poster featuring the cover of the 1981 calendar, and thus it all began.
The calendar has had various publishers through the years, and from 1990 through 2007 desk diaries were published as well. Tide-Mark Press has been my publisher since 1997. One thing led to another. Over the years I've continued to create posters for non-profit organizations as well as scores of art posters. My work was licensed for cards, T-shirts, kaleidoscopes. . . all sorts of things.
I've always been clear that I am a painter, not an illustrator. I've been very, very lucky that the calendar has enabled me to share my work as it has evolved over the years. This odd little item has brought me many opportunities to exhibit, travel, and teach, plus wonderful stories from people who've just discovered it or followed it for years. I'm exceedingly grateful.
I really couldn't have imagined what would unfold from that one small idea. It's still hard work, it's still fun, and the 2016 edition is underway.
"What a long, strange trip it's been."