This exhibit of monotypes, Sauvie Island By My Home, holds a special place in my heart and history. I moved to Portland 40 years ago. I had grown up in the Midwest. I was introduced to Sauvie Island soon after I arrived. Crossing over the bridge, I have always felt I immediately enter a world that feels so familiar to my Midwest roots. Like coming home.
My landscapes have evolved over the last 26 years, studying the effects of light and sky with a limited palette of colors. This current body of work continues to explore this subject matter. In this body of work, with the subject of Sauvie Island, I am exploring the effect of the reflection of the sky on the waters surrounding this island. These compositions comprise three essential features: water, sky, and horizon. The goal is to produce something that speaks of the beauty of an unfettered landscape, and one that also feels timeless. I build my monotypes up on my press with numerous thin layers of colors and ink, which I carefully roll on to create a smooth surface, and thus achieve nuances of light and dark. The result is that the viewer may not so much see the complexity as perceive it. For example, while the viewer might not explicitly see the base color of black it is nevertheless there, interacting with the subsequent layers of ink as well as the way in which light hits the paper, and then gets reflected back. The light emanates from the paper with such strength that it appears to glow. In a departure of plein air paintings as the inspiration for my monotype landscapes, this body of work was created from the inspiration of photos taken of Sauvie Island sunsets.
One of my friends, Courtney Frisse, an artist and photographer, lives on the island on a houseboat. She often posts photos from her deck. Her beautiful photos, and the reflection of the sky on the water, inspired me to make this exhibition. I made a couple trips myself to the island this spring, and to Courtney’s boathouse deck, for inspiration and photos of my own. I also used images from photos taken by my friend Kathy Schmidt, who visited the island the night of the Super Moon this spring, and photographed her time there.
I thank these two friends for the inspiration and use of their photos. It has been a pleasure to make this beautiful work in my studio this spring in the middle of these somber Covid times. Please enjoy