This series of monotypes was inspired by the Obos sculptures that I encountered in Martha Kingsbury’s book “George Tsutakawa.” Tsutakawa’s Obos sculptures were inspired by rock formations that he saw in Ladakh.* They are markers on a path to show that someone has passed safely; each walker adds a stone to the pile. In May of 2006 I was given the opportunity to use a wonderful etching press owned by Joan Stuart Ross at Ballard Works in Seattle for an entire week to pursue my newfound interest in monotype. As I set up the studio that first morning, I searched my brain for a theme and the vision that presented itself was a memory of those sculptures in the book on Tsutakawa that had so moved me. The teak sculpture, “Obos No.1, 1956” was the initial inspiration and it led me through a theme of piled-up and floating ovals, numerous slants of light; each monotype led to another version of itself, until now there are about 50. Hence, this series. You could say I have added my own stones to the pile begun by Mr. Tsutakawa.
*”Whenever one gets over pass without being afflicted by pass poison or without suffering any other injury or disaster, the gods have been good to him. And so he celebrates the event. He does it in several ways. He builds a pile of stones at the pass—called OBOS in Ladakh and ORIS in Lahul (sic)—and each time a traveler passes that way he adds a stone. And so the piles grow into huge collections. Everyone adds to them.” Martha Kingsbury. George Tsutakawa. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990.