Landscape has become an urgent subject. In response, I am developing three plein air painting projects, Latitude, Longitude, and Antipodes, each of which combines life study and abstraction to recount the color, light, and motif of many places. In the most general terms this tri-part painting project is an attempt to describe the uniqueness of the local while maintaining a global perspective. Although the improvisational painting process remains constant within these three projects, the location for each series shifts. For Latitude I stay in one place for an extended period to paint the changes of season as the earth shifts on its axis. For Longitude I travel along the 70th line of longitude to four locations between the Arctic Circle and the Equator to paint the changes of region. For Antipodes, I travel to locations that are on opposite points of the globe to paint a comparison.
The itinerary for Longitude, which is the subject of this blog site, is a follows:
1. June-August 2007: Pangnirtung, Baffin Island, Canada (63°45N, 68°31W). Pangnirtung is a small Inuit town on a fjord of Cumberland Sound, just below the Arctic Circle.
2. Fall 2007: Jatun Sacha, Ecuador, (0°59S, 77°49W). Jatun Satcha is a 2500 hectare ecological preserve on the Napo River, administered as a research station by the Jatun Sacha Foundation, the forest shelters one of the world’s most diverse collections of plant, animal and insect species.
3. Winter/early spring 2008: St. John, Virgin Islands (18°20N, 64°50W). On the island of St. John is the 14,000 acre Virgin Islands National Park, which has been designated by the United Nations as a part of the biosphere reserve network.
4. Late spring 2008: New York City, New York (40°43N, 74°00W).
Since I am a draftsman, I like the idea of making a journey that inscribes a very long line. I wish that the line could be straighter, but logistics demand that I choose sites with the adequate infrastructure and the political stability to support the project. More important than drawing a long line, however, is the idea of visualizing the earth as a shared space, sectioned by scientific measure rather than by political boundaries.