All of my work is a spiritual connection with my life, which has gone through many changes and looks like a patchwork.  It is always an attempt to combine imagery and abstraction, an ongoing striving to communicate while going deeper.  

 

My remaining oil paintings are now at the Stoplight Gallery, Anaconda, Montana, owned by my sister, Kathy Carlson.  They will remain there, as I can no longer use oil paint due to allergies to the paint.  I am now working with water media and drawings, but also going back to some textile work.  Stitchery is something I have always found to be healing.  Old Bangladeshi women believed that stitching, making something new and beautiful out of old useless things was a way of healing the soul of the world.

 

 In January 2018 I will have a solo exhibition at the Bonifas Art Center in Escanaba.

 

I have been asked to illustrate books lately, a new activity for me.  Another book by Vic Foerstoer, "Hidden in the Trees" was recently published by Arbutus Press, with my drawings.  The earlier book by him that I illustrated is "Naked in the Stream", about Isle Royale.  A new book by Karen Anderson, "Gradual Clearing" also for Arbutus Press., just came out, with my drawings and cover.  Karen has a regular weekly meditation on Interlochen Radio; this book is a collection of these essays.

 

 I have decided that one way I can share my work is to have giclee prints made.  Many of the images that are of interest could possibly be made into an archival print, about 15x17", for $150.  Please email me if you are interested.  joycek@chartermi.net.

 

My studio is in an old elementary school, 801 North Lincoln Drive in Hancock. I love visitors!  I am usually there but please call first: 906-370-3183.  My hours are erratic.

 

 



Artist Statement

My work reflects my surroundings, here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The particular kind of north woods landscape, its trees, rocks, lake, waterfalls, animals are what imprinted me as a child and to which I came back in 1998, looking for that which felt like home.

 

I was trained as an abstract expressionist painter in graduate school.  This grounding has carried me through a lifetime of finally working with imagery.   Shapes and negative spaces form the skeleton which holds the meanings, both articulate and inarticulate, of my expression. For two years, recently,  I did nothing but small abstractions.  Now I approach my imagery through that work.  

 

Birch trees continue to be my subject matter: symbol and metaphor for our relationship to that spirit underlying nature. And animals have continued to appear in my work in various guises.  One direction had to do with the animals of the Kalevala, the old Finnish epic; the beauty and mystery of its imagery is haunting. Why does the gray dog keep barking?

 

 





© 2017 Joyce Koskenmaki
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