Uphill 1/1


Maker : Joyce Zavorskas


Image size: 8" x 8"

Framed size : 15" x 13.5"

"My muse is shifting sand and clay, slipping and sliding, enduring then uncertain.

Random patterns and rhythms appear and disappear, earth without embellishment, elusive and uncertain. Cliffs, after storms, are scoured and blasted battlefields, canvases with nature’s wrath and fury etched on their facades. Restless and uprooted fragments of organic matter, like discarded trash, litter their slopes. Bearing witness to a changing world, the cliffs endure, our silent ocean sentinels. 

The experience of being in the landscape provides an amphitheater of natural phenomena, an arena of complex, naked earth. Things in nature are in metamorphosis, transmuting minute by minute; a serene refuge of the spirit one day, drastically altered and menacing the next. Crusted layers of pigment on canvas or luminous etching ink on gritted plates relate to layers of land observed over time. Revisiting landscape close to home builds familiarity and personal connection, and that understanding reveals aspects of my identity in the world and my place within it. 

Hiking to remote areas to sketch and paint on site provides my initial reference material, edited to essentials in the studio. Retreating to the studio provides distance from observation, an opportunity to edit and explore with more diverse materials, brushstrokes, brayers or wax. Canvas is activated with crusted layered surfaces, sanded and painted many times, as are the layered monoprint plates, uniquely inked and wiped, letting go of specificity and allowing pigment to create the work in both media. 

Observed phenomena documents fragments of time, intuitively and spontaneously. These paintings journal my familiar, my origins, the places on earth visited since childhood. I feel a reverence for these authentic, iconic and evolving natural monuments; birthplace for cliff swallows and soul-place for me. " - Joyce Zavorskas