May 18-June 23
Nature in Detail
paintings by Erica Lohan
Reception: Friday, May 18, 5-7 p.m.
My roots as an artist go back to the Pattern and Decoration Movement which emerged in the 1970s at the University of California at San Diego. My fascination with pattern has focused solely on the variety and intricacy of the natural world and the subtle colorations in the land. Although nature has always held me in it’s sway, I have moved from seeking to capture its’ essence to a place where I aim to absorb the forms I see and create a new song.
Working on Claybord panel with acrylic wash and graphite renderings has become my method and medium of choice. In my graphite series I have worked with natural forms that I have collected and pressed. My aim is to render a portrait of individual forms, veins, insect holes and mildew smudges intact. The repetition of individual leaf forms builds the play of pattern on pattern. The limitation of color brings the pattern into a pronounced focus.
The plant cell series is an extension of my ongoing study of the patterns inherent in nature. I am diving deep in this work and examining, arranging and recording the spectacular forms that emerge under a microscope. The optical detail easily meshes into abstract patterns.
I began this exploration several years ago during a biology for gardeners’ course and have continued my research at Open Bio Labs in Charlottesville. Electron microscope photos provide even more nuance.
I hope in some way recording in detail the beauty and diversity of nature will inspire a sense of gratitude and a need for protection in those who view this work.