Thursday, January 28, 2010

New prints - Water in the Wilderness:Northwestern Ontario

Quetico/French Lake
colour block print

Posted below are a few photos that show some of the new work from my series titled Water in the Wilderness:Northwestern Ontario on display at Gallery Stratford
I addition there are several other prints from this series featured in a few of my previous blog posts

Artist Statement

We are living in a time of great concern with regards to the welfare of our planet.
Forces of change are occurring that are playing a major role in factors that affect the natural world and ultimately its survival. One important area of concern is water.
Water is of great importance as a basic element that provides sustenance for all life.
In nature it provides a source of nourishment and habitat for aquatic based life such as insects, fish, bird and animal life. It carries nutrients, minerals and the seeds of life in its flow. It is instrumental in shaping and defining the landscape through its own natural processes.

Water is also a common theme in many of the works I produce as a visual artist.
This connection may be due to the influence of having lived a good majority of my life along the shores of Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh water in the world. The region also contains vast areas of boreal forest that encompass a large number of fresh water rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and marshes. There is an incredible biodiversity that exists in Northwestern Ontario that is accented by an array of unique species of flora and fauna. All are dependent for their survival on a continuous supply of life sustaining fresh water.

I have had the good fortune to observe this relationship first hand during journeys by canoe to remote wilderness locations that use numerous river systems and portages between lakes. I have hiked on foot through the woods and followed along or directly through streams and shores and waters of lakes or ponds to reach interesting remote destinations. Many of these have been recorded and stored on my camera, which I use as a means of acquiring source material. This collected photo imagery often serves as reference material that is used as the basis for my work. The basic composition that I derive from a photo is then translated to an artistic study using a variety of traditional and modern printmaking disciplines. As that image develops either above or below the surface of a particular matrix it frequently takes on a life of its own. I will focus on a particular area or point of interest in the work where a fair amount of time is spent placing emphasis on details in the image.

The intention with this series of work is to relay some of my personal observations that examine the influence of fresh water in the realm of the natural world is it exists in the wild. I have a fascination not only with landscape which is a prominent component in many of my images, but also with the structures and forms that are found in the many varieties of organic life. With this series I have chosen to illustrate the important interconnectedness that exists between the landscape, living things and the element of water. I present these studies in the form of a visual diary that capture my experiences as individual moments that reflect a particular time and place. As forces of change proceed to alter these habitats and ecosystems these studies might serve as a record for future generations.
The images are derived from a variety of surfaces that employ several types of printmaking techniques. These include serigraphy, relief block, collagraph plate, intaglio plate and photopolymer gravure. It doesn’t matter what discipline is employed, for each one will present a set of challenges that force me to think about, learn from and ultimately expand my levels of skill and expertise in that particular medium.
Some of the images have incorporated the combination of media such as the addition of watercolour applied through hand colouring. The computer has also been used as a tool for creating positives in the photo polymer process and also printing of opaque positives that have been exposed onto photo-emulsion coated surfaces that were used in several of the serigraph studies on paper. Polymer plates are a more recent development that allow one to marry new technology with traditional printing processes in a safe non-toxic manner

colour relief reduction block

Superior shoreline - west towards Rossport
series II
various relief surface block print

polymer plate photogravure with hand colour

Young Deer Kamanisitiquia River
polymer plate photogravure / hand colour


  1. Wow, Wow, & Wow!!!! Your work is amazing, and I love your artists statement. I've just returned to school to study art at 42 & am a beginning print student (2 short quarters) and will be taking photo etching this spring- I can't wait! I would have loved to see this show in person. How long have you been a printmaker? I would imagine it takes years & years to get to this level. Just lovely.:)

  2. thank you Becky
    I started off learning screen printing in high school way back in 1977 and etching in 1978 in College. Since then I have learned quite a bit of other printmaking techniques on my own time and from reading books.
    Good luck with the photo of my new favourite mediums. Might move into a digital printmaking next...or combinations of much to explore.