Field Studies: Autumn Meadow, by Andie Thrams

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Field Studies: Autumn Meadow, by Andie Thrams

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Whenever I can I explore remote wild forests from California to Alaska on foot and by kayak carrying what I need to work for hours, days or weeks. While out there I paint and write using watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper, often drawing with found twigs dipped in ink. I use these materials because they are lightweight and responsive to the unpredictable wild forces I like to invite into my working process. Over the last ten years, I have been documenting my wild forest experiences within two series of artist books and paintings: In Forests and Field Studies. While I sometimes paint in the studio with oil and acrylic on canvas, the work I bring home from the forest receives little or no treatment once I am back indoors, so that it reveals the marks of my fieldwork: rain spots, paint spatters, debris and other forest traces.

My lifelong art influences often combine a sense of reverence and mystery with graphic imagery and letterforms, and include medieval herbals, icons and illuminated manuscripts; Chinese and Japanese paintings and woodblock prints; comics and graphic novels; the tradition of the natural history field journal; and 1950’s Disney animation. I also find particular inspiration in the renderings of plant forms by Albrecht Durer, Jim Dine, Joan Nelson and Judy Pfaff.

I continue to be intrigued by simply sitting on the ground in forests, with other creatures thriving in the face of all that makes it harder and harder to survive. And, I am using painting and the book form to reveal what I can about these places.

Read about Andie Thrams.

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