Mike Glier

Forests of Antarctica


The Forests of Antarctica is about an exuberant future.

This series began by accident in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand, which is windy place, effected by weather coming north from the Antarctic. When painting out of doors in the wind, the panel often became a sail and lifted from the easel with the breeze. On days like this, I took up pencil and paper and attempted to draw the wind. Back in the studio, I filled in the lines with gouache to make shapes. Encouraged by the unexpected results of drawing something that is invisible but can be felt, I began to include sound and smell and touch as sources.

I’m not by nature a synesthete, but this attempt to train myself to be so has created a series of drawings and paintings that are more associational than descriptive of particular landscapes. Since they are open to interpretation, I’m contextualizing them with the title, “The Forests of Antarctica”, which places them in the uncertain future that can only be imagined.

The process for this new work requires periods of focused, plein air drawing followed by extended time in the studio for painting. The drawings are being made primarily in the forests of the Berkshires, the central mountains of New Mexico, the coast of northern Maine, and the American Virgin Islands.