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We categorize a landscape by
how it strikes us:
wanderable, or inhabitable.
Though a superb work can
belong to any of these
categories, a painting of a
forbidding outlook or a
mountain pass is less
significant than those whose
mountains seem wanderable
-Guo Xi (Kuo Hsi), An Essay on Landscape Painting,
translated by Shio Sakanashi
Water is a living thing...
- Guo Xi
The Milwaukee River, as an urban wanderer, is the source meditation for this year-long series of small works. There is something in this city waterway that reflects the humane (as copper reflects light and found metal and our desire for these), yet also submerges it, sublimates it.
I began and supplemented this work with an assembling of words and numbers, a kind of fluid inner journey through other expressions to images. These you'll find recreated from my studio walls, here in the gallery.
[Mo Shui (Ink Water) by Marsha McDonald]
Guo Xi Black Water - Mo Shui (Ink Water)
Water is green in spring; jade green in summer; blue in autumn; and black in winter.
Unaltered digital photos form a year-long record of the Milwaukee River. My intent was to create images that, while honestly en plein air, were also interior winter meditations.