mary judge

Artist Statement: Lake Michigan Series


These powdered pigment drawings were created during my yearly summer stay in Northport, Michigan, hence the title of the series. This series marked something new in my work, and that is the appearance of strong flat color shapes created with the use of stencils that I make by hand or have cut by laser. The stencils are laid down on the paper and then pigment is beaten onto the open areas. These are fixed with artist’s fixative stabilizing the surface. I have specialized in working on paper with powdered pigment similar to these, for many years, having adapted the technique of the “cartoon” used in Renaissance fresco. I liked creating a work indirectly and the effect was somewhat like a print or photograph; ancient, but at the same time new in feeling.


The “flower” or rose window image was a motif I developed when working on a series of large scale prints, with Wildwood Press in St Louis MO. In that case, metal plates were cut by laser, individually inked, set down on the press bed, a sheet of paper was placed on top and sent through the press. I continued to work with this image transforming into cast concrete or stone. My first move into strong color then was using this flower petal imagery. Inspired by the strong blue of Lake Michigan, wild flower meadows and nature of Leelanau County, I created this series of drawings using full color blues, reds and yellows, a kind of abstract botanical poem to the area.