Forest Floor, Douglas, Ontario
2020. Acrylic on canvas, 24×60″
This ongoing series of paintings of lichen explores a micro-universe that grows on the forest floor, climbs tree trunks and limbs and sprawls across rock cuts.
I am a photo-based painter, and these images were captured on hikes in the forests of Ontario: in the upper Ottawa Valley, along the French River, in the Sudbury area and in Haliburton. As well, I have taken many photos of lichen during my winter vacations in Northern Florida and they too have become subjects for my paintings.
I was compelled to make these paintings because I was attracted to the repetitive patterns of the lichen, the variety of its texture and shapes and its infinite detail. By magnifying lichen as a subject for large paintings, I was interested in presenting them as other-worldly and alien, as if they were of another time and place.