I have drawn the source of some of my ideas from photographs that connect me to time and natural history. Along the shores of Lake Michigan and near my Mother’s house in Wisconsin, is an out cropping of 60-million-year-old Devonian Limestone called North Point. It is a place that I often visit and I love the way that its appearance changes depending on the time of year and the rise and fall of the lake water. Pools of water with colored algae and cracks in the stone create different patterns. In some places the limestone drops off sharply into the darker waters of the lake. I take photographs looking down and along the shore line.
Sometimes I look at the photographs as inspiration for color and form and have created several paintings based on what I see using multiple layers of transparent wax. Other photographs are manipulated and printed on to rice paper that is collaged onto paper or panels with encaustic medium. I then create an abstract image over the printed elements.
I love the way that abstraction can give meaning to thoughts or feelings that cannot be expressed in words. I know that this experience is different for each person looking at the art. For me, as I have worked on this series, I have discovered more personal meaning in my fascination with North Point. The water’s edge has become a powerful metaphor for the many journeys taken through life, and following the death of my father in 2015, a metaphor for the final journey into the unknown. Looking down at the ancient surface of the bedrock and the water of Lake Michigan, I contemplate both the past and the future.
Recently, I have expanded my source of images to include photographs taken by my nephew, Jordan Lubbers, a geologist. As part of his studies, he has taken CL Electron microscope images of the interior of quartz crystals. With his permission I have used his photographs as the basis for the Microstructure series, incorporating the unique beauty of the unseen structure of the stone into my abstractions.