Debbie Schmitt

I like to thread time spent outdoors in nature together with my artwork. Outdoor experiences are a vehicle to record perceptions of place with a moment in time. The landscapes I've been privileged to be in offers an opportunity to honor and observe the energy that nature provides.

Perceptions from adventures outdoors are what provoke my creative process. While I'm working, there are times when I have to let go and not be in the observation mode, and simply react to materials. Being spontaneous allows memories and imagination to fertilize the work.

I began drawing knitting to understand the mechanics of the stitch. Individual stitches interlock becoming a larger whole, similar to how living matter forms larger organs, ecosystems and communities. An interesting characteristic of knitting is that one side of the fabric is different than the other, ie. knit on one side and purled on the other. The opposing tension of the fibers is what gives the fabric it's elasticity as well as it's integrity. As I came to recognize the symbolism, the more interested I was to continue the drawings and make prints of them.

These images were inspired from a recent trip to Ireland where giant rocks are found througout the landscape. No one is certain why they are there or what their purpose was. Historians and archeologists can only guess. Their mysterious presence  intrigues me. I'm attracted to their bold stance in the landscape and how they remain fixed throughout centuries of change. These rocks, placed where they are by someone, embody a deep past that is sublime, reverential and powerful in nature.

Making these cloud prints over a period of several years, was a way to celebrate the ever changing light and patterns observed in the sky. Printed with numerous layers of transparent inks, they are luminous and recollect moments of time spent outside in the mountains or on the ocean.

Plants are a subject matter because I love to garden. Its a delicious meditation to study the intricate manner in which certain plants grow. I am captured by their colors, delicacy, vibrancy, gesture, and their rootedness in the earth.

Birds are very special creatures. I love the way they flock, move, observe, fly, feed, navigate...