I love to teach and I love to travel, so what better way to make a living than teaching workshops all over the country! Teaching and interacting with so many amazing people informs my work in countless positive ways. But for me, the true inspiration comes from many cross country drives to amazing destinations, and the breathtaking landscape, weather, skies and sunsets I encounter along the way.
One of the most inspiring workshops I taught this summer was with artist pal, Jeff Juhlin at his home and studio in Torrey, Utah. After a few hikes with our class, a crazy strenuous hike with Jeff through a canyon (mostly through water) after our workshop as well as some hikes on my own through Capital Reef and Arches National Parks, my inspiration was overflowing. The landscape is otherworldly surreal to say the least-with every turn is something awe-inspiring that can only be fully appreciated by actually being there. I took thousands of pictures, I just couldn’t get enough! I wanted to capture and hold every magnificent thing that I witnessed. This place is overwhelming (in a good way) and I couldn’t wait to share what I experienced.
For this first of two posts about my trip to Torrey, I’m focusing on the sculptural qualities of the landscape. The monumental forms and precariously balanced boulders with their carved and etched markings brought to life the fragility, violence and vulnerability in nature that I investigate in my work. I could almost hear the glaciers grinding and scraping against the rocks to create these amazing surfaces. Through a process of wind, water, weather and time, those marks are transformed into gravity defying sculptural forms and surfaces. Besides inspiring a new series of drawings (to be posted January, 2017 on this blog) this landscape reignited a longtime desire to carve into plaster, clay or wood and combine these things with encaustic. Along with my photographic inspirations, I have included some other artists whose work references these amazing sights. Names and links to the artist’s web sites as follows: Conrad Jon Godly, Leslie Wayne, Piero Manzoni, Richard Tuttle, Arthur Pena, Laura Moriarty, Bram Bogart, Elisabeth Vary, Marlies Hoevers, Hilary Harnischfe.
Stay tuned for part 2 of Torrey inspiration, which is focused on layers and color in the landscape and will be posted by mid-December. If this post has inspired you, you are in luck because Jeff Juhlin and I will be teaching in Torrey together again in August, 2017. Visit the updated blog post for details about this exciting workshop.