And so do we all. This year has been a fraught one, to say the least. We have had way more than one year's share of loss, despair, and dread. I know that many of us around the world are looking to the new year for some, for any, relief. May we find it.
On a personal, artistic level, however, this year has been one of the fullest ever, with trips and work deriving from my Places Project. I began to experiment with painting and drawing with found, organic materials. I have a long way to go and, I assume, lots of time to continue with this. Mud, paint made from rocks and soil, sand, charred twigs, berry juice were some of my means along this path.
The red earth of North Carolina, gathered here from Peregrine Farm, is highly pigmented and is a total joy to smear and brush on surfaces. Soil from my area makes paint in this deep red and in various other ochre, umber, and sienna hues.
Rows of celosia flowers at Peregrine Farm, supported by white plastic mesh made for a striking subject. Mixed media : mud, acrylic, watercolor, found charcoal on toned paper:
In Alaska, at my residency at Chulitna Lodge on magnificent Lake Clark, there was peaty soil and sand to dip into. I brought back some soil I ground and dried for use in my studio this year. I overestimated what I could do pursuing these means in a limited period of time, restricted to materials I could pack in my carryon! I need to be somewhere for an extended period, with lots of space to work and to store materials. I am working on just such a scenario for myself for 2017.
View of Copper Mountain from across Lake Clark. Mixed media: watercolor, sand, soil.
There were wild currants to squash and smear to add color to drawings:
This and other spreads and studies from Alaska can be seen here and :
In coastal Pembrokeshire, the world was rich with beautiful mud and rocks that told stories 450 million years old. I was in ecstasy there and have just made plans to return for two weeks in May to continue those explorations.
Above, I paint and draw with sand and rocks and below I smear in my sketchbook mud from the source of sacred St. Non's well near St. Davids, with blackberry stain added for color.
Other paintings and studies from the 12' long accordion sketchbook
I used in Wales appear here.
I enjoyed another year of working with Charleston Style and Design Magazine, producing illustrations that allowed me to stretch and play and that were such fun to do
I led my second three-part drawing series at the Nasher Museum of Art in September and it was a lovely, successful experience, just as last year's was. It is a thrill to work with enthusiastic students from all ages and backgrounds.