Tools & Talismans #87 — Mae Moore

T&T #87 Mae Moore.jpg

A few years back I was planning a long drive with some friends and I asked them all to make a "mixed tape" to bring with them — a collection of their favorite songs of the moment, something we could sing along with, you know . . .  driving music. One friend put a song on hers called “Bohemia”. That song ended up playing a starring role on our road trip, and when I hear it I forever think of friends, driving with windows down on windy back highways, everyone singing together. When I contacted Mae to see if she'd be interested in participating in my Tools & Talismans project, I found out she's now primarily a landscape painter. Perfect.

Talismans: Dried kelp from the Salish Sea to connect me to where I live. Hand carved wooden ‘stick’ that speaks to me of pointing the way to creativity. Beeswax candle and apple to remember my connection to the earth and to remind me that creativity and beauty is everywhere.

Tools: As a visual artist: a fan brush for use in my landscape paintings, an iPhone to capture visual inspiration (as well as the camera I used to take the photo.) Panache, the horse, holds my heart and keeps me real. As a songwriter and musician: a pencil to write songs (old school style). New guitar strings, because it feels better.

Mae Moore is a visual artist and musician, formerly on Sony Music. www.maemoore.ca


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #86 — Amy Flurry

FEATHER • ARROWHEAD • URCHIN • WASP NEST • CICADA: A collection of objects found in nature is always close as I enjoy examining (and marveling) at the details of these objects. I love to walk and I find these things along my trail or path. The arrowhead came from a farm I grew up on in south Georgia. We used to look for them after the fields were plowed. Nature inspires ideas for collections and even detailing. On the wigs we did for RED Valentino, for example, you’ll find butterflies in various stages of flight or repose.

X-ACTO KNIFE: The beauty of Paper-Cut- Project is not only that these pieces are whispered into existence from imagination, but that they are conjured from simple sheets of paper using only an X-ACTO and glue. Knives and blades are ever-present and kept at many different places around the house, including a counter near the kitchen table where a lot of the work gets done.

STACK OF GOLD WATCHES: Our dear friend, Coleman Barks (a poet best known for his interpretations of Rumi) brought these and a bag of other trinkets to dinner one night after having cleaned out his own desk. It is the same watch style and one he repeatedly purchased from Eckerd Drug Store when the last one stopped ticking. He thought it hilarious (actually we all did that night) and I’ve kept them on my desk since to remember the laughter and love he extends to us.

PENCIL: I am also a writer and have authored a book, Recipe for Press, as well as served as a freelance editor and magazine writer for almost 20 years. I feel naked if I don’t have a pen, pencil and journal on me (in my bag or on the desk) to jot down my ideas and thoughts. I have stacks of journals that I reference often. The first step, for me, is getting ideas down on paper first, no matter how far out or crazy.

Amy Flurry is a writer, a business consultant and an artist.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #85 — Jen Hewett

When I first started printing on fabric, I was doing only silkscreen work. Screenprinting produces flat prints – chunks of solid color or fine lines – and I liked the contrast between the flatness of the prints and the natural texture of the linen. Block printing is different; its prints show much more of a hand. They’re wonky and imperfect and interact with the texture of linen in a much different way.

Using a baren (in the upper left hand corner) has changed my printing stamina because it lessens the amount of pressure on my hands when I block print. I mostly print yardage these days and my baren makes me able to print for long periods of time.

I just like the way the Blackwing pencil feels when I hold it. They’re pricier than most pencils, but holding one just makes me happy.

I prefer using inexpensive carving tools to carve my blocks. Like the Blackwing pencil, this carving tool just feels right when I hold it.

I mix my own ink colors, and have found that wide popsicle sticks are perfect for this.

I always wear three bracelets on my left wrist. I used to wear a watch, but when I started using my phone (instead of a watch) to tell time, I replaced the watch with three bracelets. I don’t know why I always have three. I feel naked with fewer than that, and flashy when I wear more. These are inexpensive bracelets made of non-precious metal.

My ring, however, is made of 18 karat gold and purple amethyst. I found it on the beach in 1997 or 98, after a series of El Nino storms. I wore it on the index finger of my right hand for years, then replaced it with a cameo ring I inherited from my grandmother. When I lost the cameo ring last year, my hand didn’t feel right without a ring on it, so I started wearing this gold ring again. It’s a reminder that there is treasure everywhere; you just have to look (and have a bit of good luck).

Jen Hewett is a printmaker, surface designer, textile artist and teacher.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #84 — Maggie Taylor

It was the early 2000s when I first started seeing Maggie Taylor's artwork — on magazine covers, then on CD covers and later she published a few books. She was practicing a relatively new art medium back then — digital collage, and I remember thinking: she's taking this art form to a whole other planet, creating worlds, universes and stories in each of her complex and beautifully surreal pieces. I'm guessing that if you've ever seen her work, you'd remember it, like Girl with a Bee Dress, does that conjure a visual? Have a visit to her site if you're not familiar with her work, she's phenomenal!

The actual tools I use in my work are primarily digital, and I spend most of the day with my Wacom pen tool on the tablet at my computer.  Occasionally I sign prints with a real pencil and it has to be a 4B.

I collect many small objects and a few of these are ones I have had for many, many years.  George Mortal Freak is my orange eraser in the form of a monster and I have had him since before the age of 10.  The same goes for the red dressed wood fairy with a pearl head.  I have my grandmother’s “worry box” and various other little talismans sitting around on my desk all the time.  I have more than one desk, actually, and lots of spaces where I keep stuff sitting out because I like to see these things.  The rabbit with a ribbon on his neck and President Coolidge normally sit on my desk as well.  This is my favorite old lace doll, Mrs. Bookser.

Maggie Taylor is a creator of digital images, but she likes the title “creator of lovely things.” and she may use that from now on. She needs technology to make her art, but she also likes the analog world and touching and seeing actual things around her all the time.

Tools & Talismans #83 — Rebecca Hass

The staff paper and mechanical pencil enable me to write down what I'm composing, and the piano is obviously also a critical tool in this process. I typically write on full-sheet paper at home, but carry this notebook around, just in case.

Post-It notes are extremely helpful when it comes to focusing in on which items need to get done that day, and my iPhone acts as metronome, timer, recording device, research device, and player of music or podcasts while I'm doing computer work.

The red-topped cactus is a representative of my growing succulent collection, which gives me with some much-needed color, especially during the sensory deprivation of bleak Minnesota winters.

I almost always have a cup of tea nearby while I'm working, whether black, green, or herbal, often in this, my favorite mug.

Lastly, the very beloved Rusty the cat is my near-constant companion while working at home (sometimes unhelpfully, as pictured) - he provides emotional support and amusement.

Rebecca Hass is a pianist, teacher, arranger, composer, and Brasilophile.