Equinox was a 13-week drawing and cyanotype project from Sept 23 – Dec 22, 2015.

On the morning of the fall equinox, I drew the Lake Monona shoreline from Hudson beach in the half hour before dawn; every week I went again at the same time to add another drawing to the group. Each time I did this with less and less light, as the sun began to rise later and later each day.

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“Equinox” in progress

The purpose of this project was to research the effects of repetition and changing light on landscape drawing. My observations were also affected by moon phases and changing weather conditions on the lake, especially humidity and cloud cover. I started during civil twilight, the period before sunrise when there is enough light to see by on land. I continued through nautical and astronomical twilight, finishing in true nighttime on the morning after the winter solstice. After making my last drawing for Equinox on December 22, I made sunrise, solar noon, and sunset drawings which will become part of the final edition of prints.

“Papaver rhoeas” (1885) by Anna Atkins

I drew with acrylic pen on a sheet of clear mylar, which rested on top of a “guide” of pencil sketches and horizon lines. To finish this project, I will now use my transparency to make an edition of cyanotypes. These prints are made using UV light to fix a chemical treatment to paper, revealing a “blueprint” image that is a photonegative of the original. Cyanotypes were among the first photographic images to be used to illustrate books, the first of which was published in 1843 by British botanist Anna Atkins, who is also the earliest known woman photographer. I will use this same medium during my residency on board The Arctic Circle sailing expedition in summer 2016.

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