Mother Nature Series
Still working with a global theme of Mother, I am now focused on the Earth-Mother in my current work. Human Mothers by nature are nurturing beings, the mythical Mother Earth nurtures all aspects of nature like they were her children. The Mother Nature figure was widely popular in the middle ages, traced back to Ancient Greece and was placed somewhere between the properly divine and the human. Christians however believed she had been created by God and therefore belonged on Earth, between the heavens and purgatory.
I primarily use vintage nature book pages as the foundation of the Mother Nature head and torso.I carefully glaze with acrylic paint lightly over the text, as I like the visual texture the text and illustrations provide for me, and I feel help me portray Mother Nature’s vast knowledge of all her species. I also use a wonderful variety of woodgrain papers on her face as well, employing them on the shadow side of her face and body, demonstrating my concept that she is of the Earth. I then give her a headdress of a variety of flourishes, flowers, fruits, bugs and birds that I glean from discarded wallpaper books and old garden books as well as copyright-free vintage graphics I find online.
When I started creating Mother Nature paintings, I knew the only background she could be placed on was a landscape. I am not a landscape painter, my comfort zone is in portraiture. Luckily for me I came across an online class by artist Carla Sonheim that has inspired me to create a mono print landscape using a man-made gelatin plate for printing. I create batches of mono prints in a printmaking marathon, a dozen or so a day, for several days in a row, that I use to either inspire me to create a certain Mother Nature or I start out with a Mother Nature theme figure in mind, then go searching through my stash of mono prints and hope I have one that fits the bill. If not, the cycle starts all over again!