Field Notes on Home, part 2

“What amazes me about landscape, landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time.”- John O’Donohue

As I mentioned in my last post the past two months I have been working on a series that were inspired by my plaster books I’ve been making and were also an exploration of the new terrain that I am living in. This fall has been glorious and we have been heading out to different areas to explore and get to know our new home. I have found that every time I have moved, it is only when I start doing work inspired by my surroundings, that it is then that the place starts to feel like home. Something clicks within during the translation of my exterior experiences onto my panels. Gaining an understanding of the land and the environment is important to me.

A New Horizon
encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches

The Maryland landscape does not have the majestic mountains of the west, but it does have a rolling hills and curving roads. This is the landscape of my childhood and so, forever will be my interior landscape. I love the landscape of the pacific northwest with its tall dark fir trees, misty waters, and glorious mountain peaks. And the golden flat prairies of Illinois have a beauty to them as well that I grew to love. But there’s just something about the land that you grow up in that speaks a language that is so familiar and intimate.

When we first got here we visited the Irvine Nature Center that is 20 minutes outside of Baltimore. I was fascinated by a collection of native cones and seed pods. I just love those forms and knew that I would be incorporating them into my artwork at some point.

encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches

The Kindness of Strangers
encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches

The Kindness of Strangers is a special piece to me for several reasons. Primarily it is because the beautiful rusted cloth was a gift to me by one of the women who attended the Red Thread Retreat last month. I had been talking about how I have been wanting to experiment with rusting and eco-dying and she pulled out this beautiful cloth that she had rusted and told me to take it and use it. It was an honor to be given something made by her to be used in my artwork. So very kind of her. (Thanks MaryJo!)

This piece is also a tribute to the people who stepped in to help us during our flooded home crisis. One of the many lessons I learned was this: The kindness of strangers is powerful, even in the smallest of gestures.

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