|Storm over Cannonball, encaustic on panel, 24" x 48"|
My month was spent at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (CANM) in far SW Colorado. It was a month of exploring a desert wilderness filled with archeology since CANM was densely populated by the Ancestral Puebloans until ~1270 AD when they moved south to areas with more water after a long and severe drought which was at least partially caused by human activities. My time at CANM was marked by many unseasonable dramatic storms moving across the mesas and canyons, producing flash floods, runoff and very dramatic lightening on the heights. At the same time the Front Range of Colorado was having severe flash flooding resulting in $2 billion of damage - all likely caused by climate change.
|Oncoming storm 1, encaustic monotype on kozo, ~ 18 x 24"|
I came away from this trip with a heightened appreciation for the power of nature and the reach of human activity to accelerate big weather events. Being in wilderness is making oneself open to nature and also vulnerable to it in ways that in normal life we tend to assume won't happen. Climate change brings bigger more powerful weather events making us vulnerable even when we aren't backpacking in the high desert.
It was not a studio based residency given the amount of time we spent in the back country. I did a lot of photography much of which I have posted previously. Now that I am back in the studio I am painting and making monotypes - both using encaustic. Unsurprisingly much of this work is about weather. Hiking in high desert brings sky, horizon and weather to the forefront of one's experience.
|Lowering storm 1, encaustic on cedar shake, ~7 x 10"|
|storm/ground, encaustic on panel, 6 x6"|
|Storm series 5 down, ink & encaustic on partially silver coated kozo, ~15 x 25"|