A summer trip to Yellowstone added to an ever ongoing accumulation of sensory experiences. Color, texture, smell, sound, transparency, opacity invigorate the creative juices similar to the hot, bubbling liquids rising to the surface. Inviting and dangerous, simultaneously. It is as trapper Jim Bridger (1850’s) stated, “the place where hell bubbled up.” We all want to jump in but know better. Just as we all want to touch artwork (go ahead and admit it) but know and understand the consequences as well. Respect of our surroundings, man-made or natural are necessary for we are many on this planet. Nature is awesome from the wild, aggressive geothermal to our very own nuanced, cultivated backyard. Art does the same for me. So, go ahead and touch, with your mind.
In 1944, Howard Fisk completed the “Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River” for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For three years, Fisk gathered physical evidence mapping over 2,000 miles of the meandering Mississippi River. The maps speculate and interpret the history of this powerful waterway in an incredible series of colorful cartographic visualizations. The drawings are such elegant images of line, color and shape extrapolating information, data and empirical evidence. You can view all maps at http://www.radicalcartography.net/?fisk
“Losing ground” (below) has been a work in progress for over three years. Combining a variety of materials using geometry, diagrams and Braille, the abstract landscape depicts Louisiana’s loss of coastal land due to levee construction (Mississippi River), the oil & gas industry and severe weather. And although not necessarily evident, it is my internal push and pull through addition & subtraction of information attempting to bring order into a chaotic world. Finally after considerable time the vision reaches a stopping point.
“Losing ground,” 2015, mixed media on paper mounted on canvas, 48×42 inches
Nature and human nature; the organic and the man made; biomorphic and geometric. The view through the horizontal blinds of the window out to the blooming Dogwood and Azalea is an ongoing accumulation of visual data that resurfaces in all my work. It is the relationship between nature and human nature and the response to these inspirational catalysts that originate in my abstract art.