My notecards and collages are inspired by the natural world around me. My partner and I travel often to both the NC coast and the Lowcountry of SC. I love the marsh ecosystems, the smell of pluff, the activity of the birds, the constant flow of the tides.
Sarah P Duke gardens are a jewel of Durham. I spend many hours wandering the gardens throughout the seasons and am always soothed and refreshed. Autumn is spectacular and the red bridge in the Japanese Gardens glows in the light.
Available at Etsy shop
The Eno River State park is a beautiful protected place close to downtown Durham. Hiking trails and swimming holes make it a place for relaxing and getting a dose of nature.
Bear Island is a North Carolina barrier island that is part of Hammocks Beach State park. We kayaked to the primitive campsites for a weekend and had a blissful time crabbing and fishing and relaxing.
I create handmade, one of a kind notecards with customized envelopes using post consumer materials. The majority of my materials are sourced from The Scrap Exchange, in Durham, NC. The Scrap Exchange is a creative reuse warehouse, diverting millions of tons of materials from the waste stream each year. I source, paper, paint, adhesives, unused envelopes- you name it- i can find it there!
I am a tree hugger and environmentalist and a lover of birds and bees and butterflies! Most of my work is inspired by such things. Each card comes with a customized envelope.
I love to create landscapes and play with beautifully textured and painted paper.
I also love to play with abstract compositions, based on natural forms such as leaves and rocks. Unusual papers that I have either found or transformed add depth and interest to these cards
I frame my collages with reclaimed, post consumer frames- saving customer’s time and expense.
I often hear barred owls in the little wooded area behind my studio. Despite being in an urban environment, there is so much wildlife present, hidden to our eyes.
Some frames that I find are in great shape and ready to use, like this gold-veneer wood frame. Others, I sand down and repaint to make a beautiful presentation for my artwork.
I like to dive deep into topics that I am passionate about and create unified bodies of work relating to that topic. I often will use paper as my primary medium but I feel free to create sculpture, installations, paper cuts or prints to serve the vision I have.
My current focus is on the Monarch butterfly and creating symbolic connections between it’s migration, human migration and climate change.
Copyright image- joanne andrews/Carte Terra Designs
Artwork in private collection
After overwintering in the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico, Monarch butterflies begin their incredible journey north. Four generations later, having traveling thousands of miles they return back to the same forest, sometimes to the same tree, as their great, great,great grandparents.
(in private collection)
In 2016 I visited Friendship Park which is at the border wall where Tijuana and San Diego meet the Pacific Ocean. People who cannot travel across the US/Mexico border gather here for a couple of hours each month to see loved ones. I have spent a lot of time reflecting about what it means to have this arbitrary wall, the size of it and what it represents. The border wall traps critters as well as humans. A proposed border fence through the Monarch butterfly’s migratory route could have a disastrous impact on an already struggling species.
I believe we have to envision positive change for the future in order for it to manifest. Even with a structure as huge and seemingly impenetrable as the border fence I know that nature is stronger. With this sculpture I envision the fence breaking open and being claimed by nature as a trellis.
My home of Durham NC has a thriving immigrant community that adds so much to the culture and economy of our town. As a middle school teacher of immigrant students and children of immigrants, I saw how important education was to families who came to the US in search of safety and better opportunities. Teachers often see when immigrants are fearful of sending their children to school because of raids or fear of deportation. We see it on our daily attendance charts.
Using a stencil made from my Monarch Mandala paper cut, I am able to create multi original prints and embossings of that iconic image. Each piece is a unique work of art printed on post consumer paper using a variety of printing techniques such as rubbings and wax crayon watercolor resist.
For my exhibit “Migration Meditation” at the Cameron Gallery at the Scrap Exchange, I created golden milkweed plants with paper pods that held actual milkweed seeds. Visitors were encouraged to take a pod and instructions were given as to how to plant the seeds. Because the show was during late October, the conditions were perfect for spreading milkweed seeds which need a long period of cold to germinate.
A hand cut paper mandala with gold leaf milkweed pods and seeds. This piece was a way for me to create a sacredness and value around milkweed, without which the Monarch cannot survive. Development of lands that historically have had an abundance of milkweed along with pesticide use has depleted milkweed in the US, paralleling the decrease in the Monarch population.
In the Catholic tradition, a reliquary was a container for a fragment (bone) of a saint. The milkweed pod that is contained in this reliquary is truly sacred, a reminder of how we must hold all of the natural world in honor.
My interest in human migration is inspired both by my students, some who are immigrants or children of immigrants, as well as travel that took me to the border area between the US and Mexico. The first experience I had in the border area at a checkpoint was shocking and eye opening to me. Later trips to Friendship Park, at the border between San Diego and Tijuana motivated me to create a representation of the border fence in the gallery. Most US citizens have never been to the border area or seen the border fences. I wanted to bring that experience in some form to people. On the other side of the fence is a beautiful landscape with Monarchs flying. Within sight but for now, beyond our reach.
At my exhibit at the Cameron Gallery at the Scrap Exchange, I had an interactive work called “What’s Your Migration Story?” Visitors were invited to place pins in the map locating their family’s migration story as far back as they knew. They then connected the pins with an orange thread. My goal with the piece was to create a very visual, very local image of human migration, showing that human migration is a natural behavior, just like Monarchs. In a time of so much anti immigrant rhetoric I wanted to show that we are all immigrants and refugees.