In 7,500 miles of backpacking and ultrarunning adventures on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Camino de Santiago, Colorado Trail, Arizona Trail, and high peaks of New England, I’ve collected countless photographs, sketches, and stories. Through art, I recreate, reimagine, and celebrate my experiences so that I may share the places I love with others.
My artistic adventures begin where my travels end: back at my family’s farm. Each of my felted pieces starts as raw wool, which we carefully hand-shear off our pet sheep. This wool is cleaned, picked, carded, and felted into a durable “canvas” of thick wool fabric. I then turn to dyed wool, needle-felting just a few strands of wool onto the fabric at a time and working in layers to create a finished product that emphasizes both color and texture.
In our age of smart phones and social media, images from travels often sit on smart cards or in clouds. By painting with wool – a tactile, natural material – I endeavor to make these images tangible in the truest sense of the word. It is my hope that touching woolen replicas of mountains and trees from the backcountry will give others a glimpse of what it feels like to be in those wild places, to be merely human in a world that is both ancient and ever-changing.