For many summers, Peter and I have returned to his birthplace, Cornwall, England. In the farthest western tip of England, Cornwall is a land of one lane - two way stone hedgerow lanes, open moors, wild ponies, herds of sheep, palm trees, amazing gardens, and two coastlines - the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. Only a few miles apart, each coast has it own personality and its own micro-climate. When we visit, we stay with Peter's younger sister and her husband, Jo and Paul, in Mevagissey. Our sister and brother are very generous with their hospitality and we often return to the States in need of a serious workout to reduce our waistlines.
Peter's older sister and her husband, Wendy and Michael, also have a cottage in Mevagissey that has been in his family for hundreds of years, while their main home is closer to London, in Horsham, W. Sussex. Wendy and Michael, and their daughter, Jackie, are wonderful about sharing their favorite places such as Glyndebourne while making sure we arrive and depart at Gatwick Airport and make our train on time. While in Cornwall, Wendy and Michael also loan us a car which allows us to explore many of the pre-Roman hedgerow lanes and ancient moors guided by ordinance survey maps. When we are not backing up nose-to-nose with a Lorry or pulling in our side mirrors to allow another car to pass, we spend much of our time on foot - on Bodmin Moor or in one of many fishing villages near the sea.
Peter carries his Canon 50D and I pack my acrylic paints, watercolor paper and a sketchbook everywhere we travel. As an illustrator, my paintings were often tight and exact. In 2008, began looking at the abstract landscapes of Peter Lanyon at the Tate in St. Ives. After many small works that looked like Lanyon knock-offs, I finally began painting in two very different styles - very loose and flowing coastlines, and detailed morphs of possible tidal pools. Eight paintings from these two series will be in the “Elements” exhibition at the Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL opening Friday July 23 (6-8pm) thru Saturday August 28, 2010.
Gorran Haven 2008
Rock Pool 5
Currently I am creating a third series inspired by Cornish Coastlines made from my handmade paper. As I make the new handmade paper work, and as the “Elements” show gets a bit closer, I will continue to post new images.
Having been an illustrator, art educator, and an avid gardener for many years, I have always been drawn to aerial views of land, maps, rivers, soil, and organic systems. Experimenting with handmade plant fiber paper is a culmination of that attraction to texture and natural materials. By combining my papers with ephemera collected along the way, my work layers history, meaning, and place into objects that are no longer lost or mis-placed, but reconstructed and transformed.