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Jeanne Backhaus

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I live year-round in Lubec Maine.  I find most of my inspiration for art in the natural world around me. When I see a piece of driftwood or a dead tree, I can feel the pen in my hand drawing the lines depicting the grain of the wood. When I walk along the headlands, I am aware of the solidness of the rocks and the living trees.  Much of my work is made with watercolor and pen and ink.  Many of these works depict pieces of driftwood either surrounded by empty space or laying on beach pebbles.  I am interested in the many ways lines and solids are different and how they relate to each other.  In my pen and ink Zentangle drawings I use lines in a very different way.   I form shapes using repetitive line patterns and designs. The drawing is first seen as a whole, but the intricate patterns draw the viewer in for a more intimate experience with lines.  These works have less to do about nature and are part of a meditative process.  My oil paintings are done with pallet knife and brush.  In this medium I am more concerned with the solid shapes of the rocky headlands and the way they contrast with the water and trees.   I am starting to experiment with mono-prints made with natural things like feathers, shells and pieces of wood that I find on the beach.   I am using these natural objects to create a sort of abstract still life.

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