Welcome to Red Twig Studio!
One of the challenges of moving from printmaking to chalk pastels has been to search for connections between how I approach them both. My screen prints use “air” or space as a predominant element. People have responded to my prints by saying they look like Japanese art. The use of space or air as a conscious subject does seem similar. In the chalk pastels, I have looked to find a similar feeling of spaciousness. It was a surprise to find that drawing fog or mists on our Northwest mornings, was a subject that felt at home for me. The unique quality of fog is nuanced and not empty space. Distant hills take on an atmospheric blue color, but fog takes on a subtle complex of colors that are more layered.
Finding these qualities bring to mind a childhood memory of a multi-colored water fountain in my small hometown of Chanute, Kansas. The fountain had lights that smoothly changed from red, to green, to purple etc. It created a sense of wonder and magic in the early evenings when we would drive and visit the fountain, just to watch it change colors. The fog and mist are a little like that to me now.
During the last year as I grew into creating art from open spaces, I noticed how I was drawn to different types of music. The music and musicians in my studio became co-creators with me………so often setting the tone in the studio. I was especially attracted to music that “felt” like open land. Fields and beaches – anywhere that I could see for a long distance. I noticed during this time when I felt stressed about something in my life, I would also go and just sit and stare toward the horizon and this seemed to create answers and inclinations that I could rely on. The first musical attractions were toward the slide guitar – with the long drawn out notes and usually without words. I like Ry Cooder’s CD called Paris, Texas. This music and many similar artists has become a part of the studio process. I see the long horizons and the resonances that I feel about open fields and spaces reflected in the music.
Completing new work takes time. Beginning with a day in the field – hopefully working without interruption and then followed by months of working with the image. In the end the image may come close to what I felt and saw the day it was begun, but most often it feels like a metamorphosis – an exchange between the image and me. What do you want me to do? that is what I am saying. The image gets stuck and then one day I know what to do – what happened in between I don’t always know. So my files are full of artwork that waits to be communicated with. And many that will never be finished. This pastel is from March of this year. The day was one of really beautiful floating fog, changing the trees and field as it moved. It is called March Path.
I began visiting fields and farms close to my home in spring. I was trying to catch fog and early morning misty conditions to draw. Many low places hold the fog for a few hours before it burns off. Sitting outside at 6 am in these quiet places was addictive – so whenever there was rain followed by sunny days, I would get up at 4 am to drive and wait for these great light and fog conditions.
Sometimes I was lucky and found fog plumes or fog clouds…..or in the early evening I found sunsets and fog combined. My favorite location is Scattercreek Wildlife Preserve which is a prairie of large open fields with shrubs and trees along the edges. Fog sometimes has rainbow like effects early in the morning….with soft transitions of blues, purples and magentas as it filters the light. More of these images are in the pastel gallery under the Work section.
Work currently showing at:
Light Space & Time Online Gallery Landscapes 2017 Special Merit Award
Fine Impressions Gallery New Screen Prints
Seattle, Washington 2016-2017
Childhood’s End Gallery
March 2017 Printmakers Exibit
Watersedge Gallery Gig Harbor, Washington