Unstable Ground: A Series Takes Shape

I’ve taken a full year to let my new series take shape, and if I don’t settle on a concept soon, it will morph again! As I create, the thoughts I’ve gathered range from food & boatyards (marination?) through code and editing, to fences and barriers. But the ideas that resonate most have to do with the stability of the horizon, the uncertainty of the future, and how we can escape, for a while, into a dramatic scene or a futuristic story.

I tore myself away from the news cycle to make art, imagining these pieces as book covers for a series I might want to read to escape. Now what would make a good book cover? Something ominous on the horizon — or is it about to pass us by? A sense of hope — soon to be dashed?

Horizons provide that safety anchor, and in this series, they come from a base collage series I created from recycled packing paper. Part of my sketchbook, these paper collages have been added to with pens and paint, scanned, printed over, and scanned again. Then, to add a dollop of moodiness and challenge: encaustic monoprints provide a watercolor effect and unexpected edges, acting as sky, rocks, or mist as needed. Spots of hope are embedded with an upbeat color, or recognizable elements of reality — an iconic tree, a cottage, a path. And then I combined digital layers, over and over, dozens of options and tries.

I wanted to create recognizable landscapes, with elements of both challenge and safety, riding that edge of our comfort zone. It reminds me that I have a safe harbor if needed, that there is a smidgen of good news out there, but that going out into the wild world, while dangerous, is worth it, and can be exciting.

See the portfolio and statement here, and all images in the series here.

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