The natural environment of the upper Midwest, specifically Minnesota and the north shore of Lake Superior inspires this series of paintings. Densely populated with majestic trees and robust plants, the area boasts many state and national parks including the Boundary Water Canoe Area. Over the years, the landscape throughout the state has been altered from both man-made and natural blights. These paintings are a celebration of the intense and varied beauty of the Upper Midwest landscape and a reminder of the fragility of the eco-system. Each painting is a snapshot of a moment in time of the tree or plant. Created as a documentation of the landscape in the present, they are immortalized in the ever changing natural scenery.
Marks are made using tree parts such as leaves and sprigs as paintbrushes. Exact replicas of the leaves emerge in these paintings, suspended throughout layers of thinly tinted polymer emulsion. They exist frozen in time yet the cumulative presence of their imagery appears dynamic. Colors and shapes evolve, creating movement and the depiction of the miraculous change of seasons. Many of the paintings have over 80 coats of the emulsion to achieve the luminous quality of captured light and provide contrast and intense depth, offering a pathway for the eye to travel. The layers along with the breadth of hues utilized allow the viewer to feel as if gazing upon living, growing plant life. The larger works provide the sensation of being beneath the tree’s canopy, capturing the light moving through the leaves, the changing sky, and the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind. One can almost feel the tree’s gentle swaying when experiencing these works.
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