Introduction to the book:
At first I thought I'd represent famous people who'd made difficult choices...like those senators in John F. Kennedy's book Profiles in Courage. I loved that book...in middle school. The more I thought about this, however, the more I hated the idea. It sounded all too academic...like a good high school history project, not a work of art. Besides, I wasn't passionate about any of these people. Truth be told, I didn't care enough.
Still, portraits would bring about the missing human element. I kept thinking, trying to incorporate images of people. I liked the idea of focusing on decisions that changed lives...bittersweet decisions.... options that meant one thing is left as another is gained...forever changed.
Finally, I got it. I wanted personal decisions…. every day choices…. real people who have made real decisions. I also figured out how to transfer real photographs onto tea-stained muslin using xylene as a solvent on the ink of an oversized, black-and-white photocopy. I made a “wish list” of the potential decisions I most wanted to stitch and created a blog to promote the series. I found a “model’s release” on-line and adapted it for my purpose. The first piece honored my sister Wanda. Her portrait is called Twenty-Five Years Sober.
The Decision Portrait Series was conceived with a very clear concept: