Meet Molly Hashimoto.
Molly is a Seattle area artist and her paintings and prints have been published for over 30 years as notecards, holiday cards, calendars and children’s books. She is also an author with several books published by Mountaineers Press.
A Birthday Tradition at Mount Rainier:
We start the episode off with Molly's longstanding tradition. On her birthday weekend, she visits Mount Rainier to take in the fall foilage. She mentions two specific locations within the park: Paradise and Sunrise. These spots offer breathtaking views and are renowned for their vibrant fall colors, which Molly describes as simply spectacular.
The Captivating Knotweed:
During the fall, Molly's eyes are drawn to a unique plant called Knotweed. While it blooms in the summer, it transforms into a striking red hue in the autumn. Molly finds its beauty truly awe-inspiring and mentions how it often serves as inspiration for her artwork.
A Creative Relationship with a Publication:
Molly shares her artistic journey spanning over four decades and her relationship with a publication. She creates art pieces influenced by Mount Rainier and submits them to the publication for consideration. Ultimately, they determine whether to publish her work or not. If not chosen, her art finds a home in her closet with other unsold pieces.
The Joy of Teaching:
Molly recently taught three classes for the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast. She finds teaching an immensely gratifying experience that requires clear thinking and organization. Molly loves providing students with abundant materials and ideas to explore, and witnessing beginners succeed at something she taught brings her immense joy.
From Studio to the Outside World:
While Molly enjoys her time in the studio, she also relishes the opportunity to meet people outside its confines. A photo of a quail at Magnuson Park in Seattle prompts her to create a print featuring the bird. However, instead of staying within the boundaries of the park, she envisions the quail in a California hillside covered in poppies.
The Art of Relief Print:
Molly describes her creative process of turning her vision into a beautiful relief print. She begins with a thumbnail sketch, followed by a detailed drawing, after which the image is transferred onto a block. Using carving tools, she creates raised black lines on the block. The final step involves printing the image by hand using a spoon and printmaking paper.
Exploring Block Prints Popularity:
Molly delves into the impact of block prints, explaining their immediate vibrancy and energetic appeal to viewers. She explains that while people's tastes in art may evolve to appreciate more subtle works as they grow older, they still maintain an appreciation for the childlike qualities of block prints.
Photography and Art:
Molly also shares her interest in photography and the intertwined relationship between her photographs and artwork. She recounts an experience capturing the growth habit of a mountain hemlock and how it inspired her to create various versions of the image, including an etching and a watercolor. In uncertain times, Molly turns to block printing as a way to bring her watercolor paintings to life in a new form.
Upcoming Events and Classes:
As we wrap up this episode, Molly shares exciting news about her upcoming Zoom class for the North Cascades Institute. Originally planned as an in-person class to explore fall colors in watercolor, the fires on Highway 20 led to an online adaptation. The class, scheduled for October 14, offers an excellent opportunity to explore Molly's teaching methods. Additionally, Molly loves participating in library programs, including an upcoming event at the Darrington Library.
The Beauty of Mount Rainier, the Joy of Art:
In conclusion, this episode of "Exploring Washington State" takes us on a captivating journey with Molly Hashimoto. Her deep connection to Mount Rainier shines through her art, teaching, and love for exploring new landscapes. As Molly reminds us of the incredible beauty around us, her enthusiasm for creating art and sharing it with the world is truly inspiring.
Where to Find Molly Hashimoto's Work:
Molly's website: MollyHashimoto.com
Molly Hashimoto Instagram
Molly's work on Pomegranate
Join us next time for another exciting episode of "Exploring Washington State." Until then, happy exploring!
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