Tools & Talismans: 100 Conversations in Watercolor

Tools & Talismans: 100 Conversations in Watercolor


Tools & Talismans is the story of how I developed and grew a painting practice. The idea was initially sparked by some photos I’d taken – collections of detritus, treasures, and tools – and a desire to learn how to use a beautiful set of watercolor pencils.

I expanded the idea by inviting 100 women to share a photo of their tools and talismans, and a few words. I figured it would give me more to paint, and since I didn’t know what kind of subject matter I might receive it would challenge me more than I might challenge myself. And I asked for the words because I was just plain curious about what these collections might mean to each of the women.

Pretty quickly I discovered that at the core of the project we were all sharing stories about what was of value to us through our connection to these collections of things. So Tools & Talismans is also a story about how the things we treasure and use also hold our stories – rich, meaningful stories that share deeper tales about how we spend our time, how we share our gifts, what we love, and where we put our focus.

Tools & Talismans shares the voices of women telling stories about their work, their lives, their memories and milestones. I believe the stories of our lives are written in the things we treasure, the tools we use, and the detritus we carry along with us – my wish is that after reading this book you’ll begin to hear all the stories yours have to tell you.

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