Natalie MacKnightMixed Media and Bookbinding
I take to the road to find the stillness of spirit that feeds my artist’s eye. Like a metronome, my bicycle’s wheels provide a ‘grounding’ for my soul.
While my bicycle is my vehicle, the landscape is what drives me. Farmland, open stretches of meadow, ancient trees standing sentry—they calm me and provide a sense of place.
The landscape is composed of edges and lines—hard and soft, broken, swooping, veining the countryside. Overgrown shrubs and weeds define the edges between fields; the gnarled branches of an old sycamore cut through and further define the space; the dried bronze and copper leaves of autumn orchards create a rich, warm texture… Through collage and paint, I capture memories of these landscapes, honoring the edges between field and sky, land and sea, forest and pasture in a visual haiku.
Riding the network of side roads I most enjoy, I notice patterns of pavement that have a similar rhythm of edges and lines. Solid pavement is unyielding until teased by light and the elements. Pops of color surprise the steady, monochromatic palette of grey in a spectrum from deepest black to white, with accents of sky and midnight or tones of coral, yellow and ruby. A thick squash of sealer pushes up through the edges of solid asphalt to add dimension.
The rhythms of the road and the landscape meld, becoming a moving meditation as well as a source of inspiration. As edges and lines continue to draw me in, I’m compelled towards stronger, bolder, more abstract forms. This exploration has led me to photography, a medium that enables me to attain the robust intensity of edge, line and texture that I’ve been seeking.
My artistic voice is changing, becoming more abstracted as edge and line take a persistent hold. The textural interplay of hard surfaces, bold lines and soft, sensual movement has become my muse.
The media in which I work is evolving, as is the art, but the edges remain.
Natalie MacKnight is an artist, bookbinder and graphic designer located in Bolton, Massachusetts. She has a BFA in printmaking and has studied bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. She is a member of ArtSpace Maynard and the Bolton Artisans Guild.