Beth Cowan

Artist Bio: 

Geomorphology - the study of landforms, their processes and forms. 

I studied arctic geomorphology academically, and only in the last few years have I revisited this sense of wonder, to study the patterns and detail in natural forms using the most basic tools, graphite and ink. I mainly work in the stark contrast of positive and negative space, either with pen, linocut prints or woodburning.  Experimenting with woodburning has taken my studies to a new level. The grain and texture of the wood add to the landscapes and forms, creating even more movement and detail in the work.

Hiking, skiing and canoe trips across the three Territories, and national parks have provided endless inspiration and studies. Some even recognize specific campsites or lookout views in my work, reminding them of trips or events they experienced in similar landscapes. The winter landscape, though at first stark and empty, draws attention to some of the finer details that are lost in the colours and textures of the summer.

I have also started a field book study of the trees of the North, as they each have such personality and wonkiness that I want to get to know each one. I hope to one day fill this book with the personalities I see across the species.

There is so much to study and capture around us in the North, from vast landscapes of mountains and moraines to fine details of a fireweed or the jack pine tucked under snow. These are ever changing following the processes that form them, geologically, ecologically and seasonally, it will be a lifelong study of landforms for me. 

Last Updated: August 8, 2022
North Slave
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