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A couple of weeks ago I attended a gallery walk at our tiny local museum with Nikki McClure. I’ve been an admirer of her paper-cut work for years and have a small collection of books she illustrated. My midwife’s office was decorated with several of McClure’s prints and I studied them at every appointment. I love how her work illustrates every-day scenes – mending, nursing a baby, picking berries, toes dangling in a stream. I love how her simple lines and use of limited color can tell such an emotional story.
Her work is recognizable – I see an image in the pages of a magazine, hanging on a wall, or on the cover of a book, and I know it is her. As an artist I have set her on a pedestal labeled “successful.” In other words, not like me. I’m a dabbler artist, not a successful one. My paintings are not in books with hard covers. I’ve never had a museum ask to show my work.
But I didn’t really know much about her. What I learned by visiting the exhibit and listening to her talk is that she is actually more like me than not.…