Meet the artists 2021

June 4, 2021

Each year, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest engages a small cadre of artists to interpret and illustrate the winning poems. The resulting placards are displayed on buses, in local libraries, here on The Poetry Department, and in other locations around Whatcom County, Washington. The contest is fortunate to have four devoted artists committed to the project year after year and we reintroduce them here.

ANGELA BOYLE
As a cartoonist and natural science illustrator, I like to blend my passions together into both nonfiction and science fiction comics. My focus is the natural world: the plants and animals we can see and interact with, or at least potentially interact with. You can get my comics through my StoreEnvy shop and my nature illustrations on mugs and pillows through Society 6. I am currently working on a graphic novel biography of Maria Sibylla Merian and the late 1600s. You can follow my research and read pages early on Patreon. I recently published a young adult sci-fi, Threadbare Memories, and have four volumes of the natural science comic anthology that I run, Awesome ‘Possum. Coming April 2022 from First Second (already available for preorder), I wrote the comic Maker Comics: Live Sustainbly, drawn by Les McClaine. My general social media (Twitter and Instagram) is angelabcomics, and my personal website is angelabcomics.com, which has links to everything, including many more comics. I am also a freelance editor, illustrator, and designer: publication.flyingdodostudio.com. Photo Copyright Abe Olson.

MEGAN CARROLL
I once told my husband that making art was not an option it was a need. I have to make art, I have to use my hands. I believe in craftsmanship, I research every single one of my ideas, draw several sketches, collect images, words and doodles. I throw out several ideas and save what I think are the very best ones. As an artist I collaborate with those around me, seeking feedback and critique. My illustrations have a minimalist style that leans heavily on mark making. I love strong lines that create a visual impact using simple repetitive shapes. I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as my current works are digital, surface and pattern design, illustration, fabric and clay. I received my BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and I have made my home in Bellingham for the last eight years. You can buy my prints, including the ones inspired by the poems in this contest, on Society 6 and find out more on meganhcarroll.com and on Instagram @meganhcarroll_arts.

CHRISTIAN ANNE SMITH
I like to tell stories with art. I love garish and fantastical characters. I enjoy human beings and my art explores stories of human emotion as well as my passion for costumes, colors, textures and intriguing environments. Growing up on the coast of Maine, I was surrounded by stories and images of the region’s folklore. Selkies, mermaids, ghosts and pirates were all believably real entities to me. My childhood fascination with monsters and supernatural beings continues and influences the way I choose to portray people. I also have a need to express with my art. I become inspired, and have worked hard to train myself to go into a sort of trance that allows what’s inside to come out. It’s only later that I can look with any objectivity on something that I’ve created and perhaps get a glimpse of what I was feeling or thinking. It is akin to the way one might analyze a dream. I may start a painting or puppet with a certain image in mind, but I allow the original image to change or even get completely painted over whenever I start to see new things. I am often quite confused about how I am feeling until after I paint, draw, or build things and the truth comes to the surface. This is the way I best communicate with myself. In this way I suppose nearly all my paintings are also portraits of my life. Find out more on christianannesmith.com.

KIMBERLY WULFESTIEG
Kimberly Wulfestieg is a paper cutting, rainbow making, poetry loving mother and teacher from Northern California. She is inspired by the beautiful nature and open hearts that surround her. She is a self-taught artist who has always been enamored with the color and texture of paper and collage. She employs a wide array of colored papers, scissors, scalpels, knives, and glue, and uses them in conjunction with details and patience. She runs the Natural Learning Center in Bellingham and loves to share her joy of art and words with the children she works with. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe and followed on Instagram @kimwulfy.


2020 Merit Award
By Richard Widerkehr

written the week of the Douglas High School shootings; a bump stock lets a shooter fire dozens of rounds in seconds

Under this streetlight, a possum
lopes by brick houses, its gray-white muzzle
and needle nose low to the street.

Take action, said our rabbi.

Standing by my car,
I wonder who needs a bump stock
for self-defense.

Not right or wrong, needing no carry permit,
the possum skitters into an alley.

The empty street, the streetlight.

An alertness sends out tendrils,
almost part of the dark.

*Copyright 2020 by Richard Widerkehr. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Spring Walk*

April 11, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Giorgiana Vignali, Grade 6

The morning sun is out
Walking with friends to school
Birds tucked in trees sing
Flowers sprout from sidewalk cracks
Tomatoes and carrots and peas grow
From the yards of old ladies

dogs tied up
bark
bark
bark
as we pass
a little boy waves as we walk by
his face pressed up against the cold glass

the grass glistens with dew
making our shoes and socks wet
up ahead is the school
kids, some yelling and others half asleep
wait at the doors for the bell to ring
another day awaits

*Copyright 2020 by Giorgiana Vignali. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

I Stop In The Woods*

March 21, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Betty Scott

To watch a parade of mallards
Paddle and quack in circles
Splashing ripples across the surface
Of their home, a muddy pond,

As sunlit Evergreens…beyond…
Stand guard, reflecting themselves
Beneath the pond of brown,
Crowns of pines, topside down,

Reaching deep into the mud below.
I see this with my third eye as guide
To the rift and ride of souls: bonds…
Of love intertwined with joy.

*Copyright 2020 by Betty Scott. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Underwater*

February 28, 2021


2020 Walk Award
By Qwill Madrone, Grade 6

Alone.
The middle of the ocean.
Wide and scary.
The calm blue surrounds me.
My iridescent tail flashes and circles underwater.
I have nothing to worry about.
I dive under
The silence presses in on me.
I fill my lungs with the salty water of the sea.
Breath in, breath out.
The water evaporates in me
Leaving me with air.
A school of fish dart around me
Little silver bullets.
I use my tail to propel myself
Forward into the water.
I hold my hand out
The silky water flowing around my arm.
A bale of turtles glide under me
Their fins send water towards me
A small underwater current.
The ocean is alive.
And deep.
And blue.

*Copyright 2020 by Qwill Madrone. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Lake Louise Spring*

November 29, 2020


2020 Merit Award
By Judy Bishop

Cold rivulets run down over rocks,
through woods, finally flow into the lake.
Hillside alders beaten by winter’s wrath,
limbs bent, broken into submission.
The well-worn path, wet and muddy,
crisscrossed by rabbits and squirrels.
Robins — hearty spring harbingers — hop, stop,
cock their heads. Red-winged Blackbirds cling
to cattails, cry, divert attention from nests.
Nervous geese, eager to mate, squawk
and take flight at slightest sounds.

Pink Salmonberry blossoms beckon Rufous
Hummingbirds. Western Skunk Cabbage cups
curled leaves in prayer.

Sunshine and the stay-at-home order welcome
trail walkers. We dance our six foot distance,
warmly greeting neighbors never met before.

The south wind forms honey-comb patterns on
the lake. Below the surface, lilies in their dark
unseen secret world, not unlike the virus, begin
their epic journey toward the light. So do we.

*Copyright 2020 by Judy Bishop. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

In the Forest*

November 15, 2020


2020 Merit Award
By Miakoda Baughman, Grade 3

When the Mountain glows
And the River shines
And the trees speak to me
In the forest
There is magic
Everywhere
In the forest
With me

I think the moon is watching
Over me
And the sun shines
With me

In the forest
With me
I think the spirit
Is watching
Over me

*Copyright 2020 by Miakoda Baughman. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.


2019 Merit Award
By Cadillac Joe Wright

brimstones
     are butterflies that
carry ur hippy vibe &
     we can smell the
          monsoons amp up
     blue diamond &
     the old Spanish trails
that surround you —
     far overhead is that
     chevy in the sky…
ur red blazer burns thru zion
     these days we boil
     longhorn skulls in
          peppermill lave &
summer craves the cold storms
     of sugarhouse java —
the universe is filling up
w/ raspberry
chambord n’ other miracles…
comets circle —
     flash floods &
          hello river!!!

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Cadillac Joe Wright. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

metric*

October 20, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Tor

metric

she
metric

moon day

she
know she

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Tor. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

Poet’s statement: I am 61 years old, receiving social security and I am a self taught artist for a hobby. I’m better at visual art and music and call myself a dollar store Van Gogh. Metric is about the song Eclipse by the band Metric. I liked the song and Metric was a result of word play which I do often in my head. If I thought of a way to word it with meaning in English and have it sound Japanese, I would have done so.

Artist’s statement can be viewed at Angela Boyle’s Moon for a Poem.

Hummingbird*

September 15, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Maddie Patterson, Grade 5

I stroked one finger along its delicate feathered body
It felt like nothing in my hand
allowing me to see its metaphors and similes
scrolled across it like a book of observations
Its neck was laced with bright red sequins
— Oregon grape in distress
Its eyes were little beads,
like tiny huckleberries
Its feet were the leaves,
of a Western red cedar
Its beak was bent,
like the branch of a Douglas fir
Its feathers, metallic flames
Its feathers,
soft scales
of rhody petals

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Maddie Patterson. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

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