This series is an ongoing exploration into how we symbolize and interpret the natural phenomena that we encounter in the environment around us. Since returning to Northern Michigan after a decade in an urban environment, the forms of nature and landscape have re-emerged as the primary driving impulse in my artwork. The process of making art allows me to enter into conversation with my physical context. Whether I am pouring over the minute textures of a milkweed seed pod, or am searching the horizon beyond the expanse of the lake, I find endless satisfaction in the abundance that nature presents. I employ abstraction in my artwork as a means of perpetuating the mysteries inherent in any interaction with the natural world. Try as we may, there is still much beyond the grasp of our scientific lens. It is not that I am intentionally obscuring information, but rather that I enjoy how this mode of working allows ordinary objects or landforms to take on other symbolic meaning. Abstraction also highlights how subjective our individual attempts to categorize the world can be. Our own depictions of nature often say more about our own worldviews or manner of inhabiting space than giving an accurate representation. I include myself in this observation.
Many of these artworks are drawn or painted directly on panels of red oak from Leelanau County. As I’ve worked on these pieces, I’ve found continuity in the repetition of the wood grain and how the same patterns can be found in the repeating formations of waves, sand, sky and grass. The more you look, the more you will realize that nature repeats itself in the most beautiful ways.