The Seed Keeper
Libraries aren't just for books!
I’m very excited to say that I have been invited to participate in the Lake Oswego Reads program.
In addition to being an author, Wilson is the former Executive Director for Dream of Wild Health, an Indigenous non-profit farm, and the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a national coalition of tribes and organizations working to create sovereign food systems for Native people. Wilson is a Mdewakanton descendant, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation.
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The Seed Keeper
This dense, multi-layered story is about Rosalee Ironwing Meister, a Native American Dakota woman, and her quest to become whole. Interwoven into the story is the recounting of her ancestors’ struggle to survive the “Indian Wars,” relocations, boarding schools, and the collective trauma caused by these events. Throughout the book, the theme of seeds, traditions being handed down, and the evolution of farming techniques binds it all together.
My inspiration and interpretation
In this piece, I integrate several objects and moments in time into a single image.
The books protagonist, Rosalie Ironwing is a loner. She has had a tumultuous and insecure young life.
When John dies, she goes on a quest to make peace with her past, and in so doing regains contact with her family and her heritage.
I see the envelope, the pouches, and even the old white farmhouse as being safe places for seeds and souls to rest and incubate. From that place of rest, growth is possible.
Creating an encaustic-like effect
The technique I used to make this piece is part of a new method of artmaking for me. I wished to create an encaustic-like effect by using layers of different types of acrylic media.
Encaustic is painting with hot wax. It is an ancient painting medium that has seen a rebirth since the 1990's. Because it is wax, it has a beautiful, foggy opacity. The wax can be applied and fused in layers, so there are often multiple images peeking through, creating depth.
First, I drew and painted the main image. Then I covered it with Golden Clear Leveling Gel, then Golden Heavy Matte Gel. Then I drew the house/envelope. I added more color and detail to it. Then, using a scumbling technique, I intensified the white snow in the center of the image by adding titanium white and pearlescent silver. Many of the effects and details cannot be properly seen in a photograph, because there is depth iridescence and a wee bit of sparkle.
The Lake Oswego Reads Art Exhibition will hang at The Dee Denton Gallery in the Lakewood Center for the Arts, then move to multiple venues throughout the state of Oregon.
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