The Lake Maps (2009-2010)

As soon as I arrived at The Lake (the last residence of American artist, Morris Graves), I familiarized myself with the forms, textures and spaces of my subject through on-site sketches and paintings. As I studied my surroundings, a new awareness and recognition of patterns I gleaned from the environment emerged and the exploration and experimentation that is at the core of the “Lake Maps” series began in earnest.

I realized the “Drift” and “Shadow Map” works plein-air and in real-time as the position of the sun, the clouds and the wind seemed to direct my process. Thus, the environment and my observations of it came together into a mapping system that expressed those real moments in time. The use of silhouetted shapes in the “Shadow Maps” is a reference to the iconography of the snapshot and a popular cultural means to capture and condense landscape without necessarily experiencing it fully.

It is the wonder of things and that moment when beauty overwhelms the senses and transforms the viewer’s perception that is compelling. The “Waterbodies” are the result of such moments and record the play of reflections and light on petrified logs submerged below the lake’s surface and animating their forever-still forms.

I completed the “Lake Maps” work while at an artist residency in 2009 at the Morris Graves’ Foundation and The Lake. I simultaneously explored several threads of inquiry during that remarkable time of risk and innovation in my work. I will be returning to The Lake in August, 2014, for a second residency and the opportunity to continue my investigation of its rich and varied environment.

Morris Graves’ Foundation, Loleta, CA