Wandering around less populated areas of southern France has satisfied my love of rural spaces, nourished my imagination and sparked an on-going fascination of the Cathar culture. The Midi Pyrénées and Languedoc regions never fail to stimulate and offer fragments of information which might lend form to a composition. Images gleaned on walks and drives populate my work and furnish lasting impressions of beauty, isolation, and cultural heritage. Most importantly, the lonely sentinels of ancient wayside crosses (crusted with centuries-old lichens, scarred by the elements and forgotten by time) hold silent histories. In particular, a 14th century Occitan cross raised the hair on the back of my neck when I laid my hand on it. My interpretation of this cultural icon appears now in much of my work.
Interactions with historical, rural environments have become essential to both my psyche and my artwork. My work, in part based on the notion of images absorbed on a journey combined with the act of map reading, is constructed in layers. During annual trips to France, visual fragments of the landscape are absorbed, and afterward, I explore both my memories and my photographs as I begin a new piece. My landscapes often become fragmented and re-invented (like memories themselves) into a single composition to communicate a certain spirit, history and/or mystery of place.
This mixed media drawing contains graphite and colored pencils, ink, acrylic, watercolor, embossing powder, and collaged elements on Arches paper.
December 12, 2010
September 25, 2011
drawing, gargoyles, printmaking, spirit of place, Inspired by France, Cathars, Occitan, Dreamscapes, La croix des cathares, Mixed media work, Languedoc, Midi Pyrénées