Marie Westerman

Artist Bio

Northern Light expresses visual themes derived from the Northern landscapes I see every day. Lakes, forest, rocks and life create endless compositions out of their own repeated elements, experienced in the different seasons with our ever-changing light. I frequently include images and text from our civilized, mechanized world, separate, but joined together with the images of natural elements and landscapes. This exploration of the tension that exists when human intentions and expectations meet natural reality has been a focus of my artwork for years.

Throughout, there are skyscapes and celestial bodies: clouds, the sun and moon, planets, comets, stars. They appear as sources of light, and sometimes in charts, a reminder, perhaps, of their influence and the passage of time.

My approach to fiber as an art medium has been more intuitive than academic. In an effort to produce detailed imagery on a smaller scale, I developed my own version of a traditional method of weaving. Pick-up double weave is a weave structure which usually involves two separate warp [lengthwise thread] layers, one dark and one light, woven simultaneously, one on top of the other. Where the weaver chooses, the light and dark threads trade places to create patterning, which is dark-on-light, reversible to light-on-dark. I have adapted this structure so that I am able to include a third layer of warp, as well. Each warp thread color may interweave with any of three different weft [crosswise] thread colors at any point. All my work is hand woven, row by row, using a drawing called a cartoon as guide. Linen thread works best for my purposes, as it is strong and produces a crisp, flat surface. The weight of the linen threads and the sett, or number of threads per inch, are chosen to mimic the idea of clarity or graininess of the images I weave.

Marie is a weaver/textile artist who has exhibited her work, taught weaving workshops, and has been featured in publications throughout North America. She is an active member of the North Woods Fiber Guild.