Encaustic watercolor paintings of ancient sacred sites
I began my ongoing series of paintings, Mounds and Stones, with questions about home and connections to place. As a descendant of European immigrants (or more accurately, colonizers and all that implies), these questions circle around in my mind often. Where is my place? Who are my people? What place/s are they indigenous to? And even, how has this dislocation contributed to behaviors of racism and greed over the centuries?
When I was 17, my family took a trip to the British Isles where we visited ancient stone and mounds built by Neolithic and Bronze age cultures 3,000-7,000 years ago. My father was enthralled with these sites and their spiritual and astronomical meanings. This interest became his full time passion for the next 40 years until his death in 2006. His book Manitou: The Sacred Landscape of New England‚Äôs Native Civilization, brings together those years of research.
For my part, I never forgot the experience of walking through those sites. The stones were like groups of people meeting together and the mounds like large mammals hibernating. For the past two years, I have been painting images of those sites using my father‚Äôs research photos as inspiration. It has become a form of collaboration through time, combining the creative efforts of the ancient people, my father‚Äôs passion, and filtered through my hands and eyes. I use watercolor washes imbedded in wax to show the layers of history and passage of time.