Simply put, Olympia artist Eunice King tears paper and reassembles pieces into recognizable things. More accurately and complexly stated, Eunice skillfully hand-tears all shapes and sizes of recycled paper, and then painstakingly stacks, aligns, matches, and glues them to replicate brush strokes to form remarkable birds, flowers, and other images. Finished pieces incorporate depth and sensations of motion. Her masterful paper art draws me in as if I am magnetized.
“My medium is all paper,” says Eunice who has been an artist for years. Four years ago, she found a focus on paper art. “Art has always been a part of my life, even as a child,” she adds. It seems the rich experiences of her life coupled with her dedication to art inspire the complicated layers of her colorful, intricate projects.
Eunice had a career as a hospital administrator. “I was in the right place at the right time,” recalls Eunice who was in the first class for an information systems management master’s program, an effort of Boeing and the University of Washington. She was one of three women. “I had a great but all-consuming career,” she notes. She remembers her work called for long days, and it was heavily analytical.
Though satisfying, Eunice looked to provide balance in her life through art, but what would that be? A friend suggested she ask herself what she enjoyed as a child. “I got a doll house one Christmas. I played with furniture and threw away the dolls,” she remembers. That insight led to becoming certified as an interior decorator, which incorporates the principles of scale, design, color and design. Interior decorating calls forth what is pleasing to the eye. It values balance and harmony. “I went back to school as a mental relief,” says Eunice. She was still working. Fully certified, she began doing jobs for friends and family. “I wasn’t really building a business. I needed to do the work,” she adds. It fueled her creativity and desires to keep learning, all important to her personal growth.
After retiring from her administrative career, Eunice and her husband Tom, a retired CPA, moved to Jubilee. Before long, by word of mouth, Eunice was doing interior decorating for her neighborhood community. It kept her as busy as she wanted to be. She still had time for art.
“I curate the gallery at the Lodge and am part of the art club at Jubilee,” says Eunice.
She experimented with various art forms like watercolors, acrylics, and colored pencils, but no media captured her interest for long. A friend suggested a mosaic class. The colorful tiles and creative arrangements appealed to her and ultimately led her to using paper instead of tiles. Her desire to recycle and repurpose materials, as well as steer clear of toxins, made paper an excellent choice. “I like giving old items new life,” she explains.
Her art studio consists of infinite shards of paper with all colors and textures in various piles. It’s as if a rainbow was put through a confetti maker. I hoped I didn’t create any hint of breeze as I walked by or exhaled.
Eunice names her pieces early in the creative process. “The art piece seems to have more pizzazz,” she notices. “Blue Me Away,” is a life-sized heron whose textures remind me of an impressionist oil painting but more intense. It is a marvel to stand close to a piece and fully realize it is comprised of countless, organized, torn pieces of paper. You’ll find humor in her piece “Just for Kicks,” a jaunty rooster made from cereal box paper. Eunice sets goals for herself annually. This year she is making a flower of the month card. The original is eventually repurposed and becomes a new framed work. Her recent card of a person smelling a bouquet was transformed into a vase of flowers. Amazing.
During the pandemic, Eunice and her friend, Sue Morganroth, took the necessary steps to become a part of Splash Gallery. She had been a customer and saw a notice the gallery was looking for artists. “Why don’t we try that?” they queried. Both were juried, accepted, and continue to pass the milestones for continuing to be a part of the cooperative gallery. Splash Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Purchases can also be made online.
“I keep growing and growing,” says Eunice, who is always on the hunt for interesting paper and learning new ways to share her art. You can find a few pictures of her work and contact information on the Splash Gallery website.