It’s all about nature, but not a generic nature. My artwork is about landscapes I have experienced, studied, photographed, drawn, and lived in. Each one is based on my experiences in a specific location in a specific season.
The landscape of the Midwest and my one-acre garden I created from bare ground are always before me and on my mind. It’s an ever-changing landscape of huge shagbark trees, waving grasses, fields, and small patches of preserved prairie changing from the bounty of summer to frozen winter.
My sister and I have made more than twenty-five wilderness canoe journeys in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness more than 200 days in the last fifteen years. The Boundary Waters, a million acres set aside from human development along the Minnesota/Canadian border, was named one of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Places of a Lifetime” with good reason.
I create all the materials for textile artworks from white fabric by painting (with brushes, brayers, found and made marking tools) and screen printing. It is a very meditative process and integral to the type of artwork I create.
Images that frequently appear in my artwork such as boats and circles are iconic and archetypal symbols of voyaging, the process of discovery, and the timeless nature of memories. But these symbols are deeply personal to me after my journeys in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with my sister. All of the Boundary Waters artworks are attempts to remember and be in a water world that brings a sense of freedom and joy.
My artwork is also a testament to our need for wild areas. Our wilderness areas are important as last bastions for many species of flora and fauna, as monuments of our national and cultural heritage, and perhaps, most importantly, as places where humans are able to learn the power of solitude and understand their own insignificance. As Edward Abbey wrote, Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.