Printmaking allows for endless possibilities of mark-making, textural elements, and “happy accidents” that often result from the unpredictable nature of the process. Instead of creating color woodcuts in a traditional edition, I have developed a more intuitive method of working an image through layering – of color, form, plate, and technique – to produce one-of-a-kind prints without a preconceived plan. The final image gradually evolves after multiple runs through the press.
The "pond series" of woodcut prints were conceived from daily observations of surface reflections on water. Reeds and cattails provide intricate patterns of interwoven lines that are constantly mutating with wind and light. The "linden series" of woodcut prints and collages were inspired by an ancient tree on my 200 year old farm. The linden, or basswood, has been viewed as a potent sacred symbol in many cultures, as well as revered as a tree of peace, life, and love. The woodblocks for this series were all carved from basswood in tribute.
The "telling stories" print series began with an investigation of my Scandinavian roots. In researching ancient Swedish history, I was drawn immediately to the fascinating images that were carved into rock faces during the Bronze Age. Our need to record or map our environments is a uniquely human trait. Before the age of literacy, ancient peoples were creating pictorial narratives that described how they related to their environment – including images of exploration, migration, hunting/gathering, early agriculture, celestial observations, and religious rituals.
Expanding upon this story telling theme, I produced another series called "traces," which documents artifacts found on my daily walks and while digging in the gardens of the old New England farmstead where I live.
The "resilience" series of woodcuts was inspired by the uprooting of an ancient apple tree during a late winter storm on our farm. The series explores not only nature's persistence in hanging onto life but our own resilience in dealing with life’s struggles.
I recently completed a new series devoted to the "mill girls" who left the comfort and security of their New England family farms to work in the urban textile mills that were transforming cities at the time. There are many interesting offshoots to the story of these young women, including the impact of slavery and the cotton empire and the beginnings of the first labor movements. My love of vintage photos and history were the inspiration for this series.
In addition to making monoprints, I also work in mixed media, exploring themes of light, pattern, and mystery. I am interested in revealing transparency and depth through manipulation of multiple layers. By alternately building up and scraping away, a complex visual history is the final result.