I have been a professional photographer for over thirty-five years. My wife of almost thirty years, Kate Mahoney was a painter and a printmaker and one of the original founders of Peregrine Press. Her first love was printmaking. Over the years I have watched Peregrine Press grow. I also have been involved with Kate’s printmaking since we first met in the early 1970’s. I knew about most of the printmaking processes Kate was proficient in, but I lack the artistic talent she was born with and the hands on printmaking skills she aquired in college, in many workshops and from a life in printmaking. We always talked about combining our work, which we did do in a couple of her prints.
In the fall of 2003 I began taking printmaking courses at Maine College of Art from Peregrine Press member, Judy Allen. At the time, my only goal was to understand printmaking and the printmaker’s world Kate loved so much. Judy Allen’s MECA course not only helped me understand Kate's printmaking world and helped me move forward with the basics of printmaking, it also gave me an insight into a printmaking process that opened up a lot of creative doors for my work, photo-etching. I also wanted to stay connected and be a part of the organization Kate helped found, Peregrine Press. She would be pleased, I think, at where I am at this point in my career and with this new work, and she would be pleased that I am a part of Peregrine Press that meant so much to her and that she helped launch. My hope is to help Peregrine Press move forward with an agenda she would be proud of.
The above images are photo-etchings printed on printmaking paper from an inked copper plate. The collaged image of the house was added as the final element. They are from original color photographs that have been converted to black and white. I have resized the image and manipulated the contrast to achieve the print quality and the feeling I wanted in the final etching. They are images of places and moments and people my wife Kate Mahoney and I loved and/or shared. She died June 10, 2003 after a seven year struggle with breast cancer. The red house was taken from one of Kate's paintings via PhotoShop. This red house motif appears in a lot of her paintings and monotypes in the last couple years of her life. I think it symbolized a place of serenity and peace for her. It was where she wanted to go or where she wanted to end up, at peace with her illness, at peace with the possibility of leaving us, at peace with the probability of dying. She never got to Mt. Katahdin, the subject of several of these etchings. It turned out to be one of those unachieved goals she had. But Kate climbed a lot of mountains in her struggle with breast cancer, reaching what she thought was the summit only to turn around and see another mountain looming above her yet to climb. My two sons and I dedicated all of our Katahdin climbs to her since her diagnosis. We talked about her as we climbed and always thought she would join us one day at the top. Maybe now she has. Through this work I am finding Kate, finding her at peace in the world we shared and loved, and finding her everywhere in the world where our two sons and I still dwell.
- One Man Show-"Elusivity" Three Decades of Nature Photography by Bill Curtsinger
Gold/Smith Gallery, Boothbay Harbor, ME.
July 30, to August 25, 2004
- Annual 10X10 Group Show
In Honor of Kate Mahoney
June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME
April 2-3, 2004
- Peregrine Press Group Show
Aucocisco Gallery, Portland, ME.
June 3-13, 2004
- "Elusivity" Three Decades of Nature - Photography by Bill Curtsinger.
One man show at The National Museum Of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming
September 29, 2003 to April 19, 2004
- Photographing Maine: 1840 to 2000. This two part exhibition records the
history and beauty of Maine through the eyes of America's great photographers.
Two photographic prints, Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, Maine
August 11 through October 1, 2000