Coal Mountain Brothers
I married the Appalachian Mountains in 2010.
I haven't stopped making art about them.
This series is a celebration of our days and nights together.
In this body of work, Coal Mountain Brothers, I create vibrant, abstract mountain ranges that speak to each other with the comfort, closeness and sometimes hostility of family. I create this work in reaction to the fractured landscape of Appalachia, caused by drilling and human interference within the landscape.
Each piece is an individual, with it's own story adding to the greater landscape of the Coal and Witch families that make up this series. Paintings within this series share line; color and titling that connect them as kindred groups within the series as a whole. These family groupings explore the personality of space, and allow the landscape to be viewed as one community made of many parts. By humanizing the mountains I celebrate the mystic, living, and vulnerable qualities of the Appalachian landscape.
I create a sense of physical closeness between the work and myself by stitching through the canvas, a ritual of creation integral to my work as a whole. These lines created by thread emphasize the fractured and delicate qualities of the landscape, which are interrupted by human interaction like my needle through canvas. As with the majority of my work, this series utilizes a variety of media including traditional painting and cotton thread embroidery, along with various acrylic mediums to create levels of depth and texture.
This work was inspired by my time living in Athens, Ohio, where I learned the cultural and visual landscape of Appalachia, where I married the Mountains, and where I began to make art about place, fantasy, landscape and family.