This series is an extension of “Prickles and Goo”. I picked up where I left off by aerially exploring the Northern Hemisphere on Google Earth and observing the frozen tundra. By focusing in on the texture of the terrain I noticed that grooves in the icy earth exhibit elaborate patterns. In Photoshop I began to layer these grooves to create movement reminiscent of water. Each layer, like in a stream, represents different channels of movement.
I adapted my process to paint the composition one layer at a time, building up a ground and making sure each layer flows in a direction. By taking the time to build up layers, I began to understand the nuance of recreating the effects I use in Photoshop. I spent a lot of time interpreting blend modes, transparency layers, and level adjustments, then rendering them into painted layers with the addition of gel and glazing mediums. I feel that acrylic lends itself well to this process because it is such an additive and textural medium. Like sediment gradually depositing in a bend of a river I applied color and accumulated texture with each mark.
When I was making these compositions in June 2015 I coincidentally discovered a natural process called supraglacial hydrology. This process is when “Supraglacial (surface) water on a glacier is formed by the ice melting during the summer. It flows off the glacier, incising a number of cracks similar to an ordinary river system.” By noticing the patterns within the terrain I discovered the process of ice transitioning to water. As the glacier runs off it creates streams depositing glacial sediments and reworking the glacial landforms. I find that this process illustrates a parallel idea of which I am pursuing within this series. The topography moves and reworks itself over and over again creating a unique moment, a static ripple of water. Together each unique layer in these paintings exhibit the feeling of water. Water is, itself, an emotionally evocative subject, especially of those who live all their lives near it and are affected by it. As I’m reflecting on this series, Southern Louisiana - a place I call home - has been flooded from excessive rain. With the rapid pace of coastal erosion and sea levels rising, there is no doubt water will play an increasingly significant role in our future. As the glaciers move change, melt, refreeze and melt again that water flows to us; we as a species have to adapt to this process.
Here is an informative illustration from National Geographic that shows the process:
I began documenting this series in a way as to understand how each layer affects the movement of the piece. By documenting the piece over time the viewer can see how each layer channels a type of movement and reflects a moment in the life of the piece. This was important to the process because each layer represents a moment in a glacial form, when layered together it becomes its own composition. I find that this documentation process accentuates the development and creates a living, breathing work.
Check out my documentation process here
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