LOVE OF THE LAND
The four series that make up this collection were born of my love of the land, my deep respect for the sea, the magnificence of the life born of it all. While the places I depict here—the forest, farmland, marshes and the sea are inspiring in different ways, all bring forth the energy and the restorative power of our human connection with the natural world around us. Each piece in these series is meant to bring this home to you.
The forest has always offered a place to rest and restore and of course, to play. From the sleep-over camp of my youth to the daily walks with my retriever. The smell of the forest floor, the backlit leaves, the trilling of the birds, the rush of the water over creek rocks.
One spring and summer season was filled with visits to gardens near my home and at every place I traveled. I loved the late afternoon best, the breeze through the tree leaves, the dance of movement and light. Like the forest. This series is based on reference photographs from these places.
Forest Talk started out as an idea for a new type of series. One which began with a painting on a digital print with each subsequent painting built on the last, with layers of multimedia material. This experiment was a perfect place to bring together my knowledge of technology and art, left and right brain working in tandem. Ultimate play.
At its core, this collection is meant to energize, inspire, and restore us to our joyful center when our mood is low and pressure is high.
I never expected to be so thoroughly inspired by a place as I was on a trip to visit family in Dordogne, France. This was not even a bucket list trip, more duty than desire. So when I came upon the extraordinary beauty of this place and the visually power-packed experience of meeting it for the first time, I was stunned and moved to create a wide variety of pieces- paintings, digitally inspired works, eventually leading to a series in wood. I can still recreate the feelings of experiencing this place. Its essence and its energy still thrills. Sometimes I bring this Dordogne spirit to life as I am working so that my new work can share that, too.
In hindsight, I see this work eventually gave way to the Imaginary Landscape Collection. The Dordogne series is light and fanciful, purely imaginary in color and composition with an energy and countenance to bring peace and joy all at once to the space where it lives.
I love art libraries—I could spend hours there. During one visit, I happened on a series that the German abstract painter, Gerhard Richter, painted using old photographs as a substrate. This series is a pure experiment built largely on photos from my first visit to the Netherlands. I was fascinated with what happened visually when the photo became the underlayer of the painting and what that conveyed as a first impression of a new place. While uniquely Holland, the paintings could really be about any place that is wild and free in its character.
For most of my adult life, I have lived on or very near the sea. The wetlands have inspired me for decades—the life that teems within them, the way they absorb our floodwaters to keep us safe, the sheer beauty of every season, the way the colors and textures evolve.
On a recent trip to Cape Ann, MA, I spent countless hours at the marshes. Photographing, restoring. This series is my way of expressing the deep love I have for the land and the privilege it is to live with it.
I decided to experiment with merging digital printing and painting again to capture as precisely as possible the visual and emotional experience of a day at the marsh. Bringing together the technical and artistic, these paintings express my love for this place. And the closeups, cropped compositions from the paintings, seek to glorify the beauty of the marsh in its detail.