About the Artist
My passion for painting the landscape resumed In 2005 after a break of about 15 years where I explored abstraction and creating artwork with non-traditional materials. I was drawn back to working directly with color after exploring the terrain of Washington County, Maine, a remote, isolated and thinly populated part of the state. Here you can still see the raw beauty of the seasons unfold in the deepness of evergreen woods and experience a landscape that is not only wide in the sense of a panorama, but also expansive vertically, from the sky overhead, to below your feet when standing on the edge of the Maine coast.
I have experienced a visual and visceral impact of place as I've explored this region. Some isolated landscapes are charged with a vital energy that leaves a physical impression. The views can be ‘stunning' and literally ‘hit' you or ‘absorb' you. There is a numinous quality to the air—a timeless aura that seems to link to a universal sacred fabric. I believe that these places can move you, "…just as the body and mind have the ability to alter qualities of the landscape in which one lives, so does a landscape have the ability to alter the state of one's body and mind." 1
It is this impact and vital ‘altering' quality that I seek to portray in these paintings, offering the viewer a deeper appreciation, not only for a specific location, but for all landscapes, hoping that the viewer will, in turn, recognize the feeling wherever they find it.
In my paintings, I focus on conveying the qualities inherent within a landscape that make the heart open, hopefully allowing the viewer to find an inner peace. I see a function of the work as a contemplative icon—a place for the viewer to rest and restore through viewing the imagery—where the painting functions like a refreshment or balm for the eye and for inner reflection.
Often the works are started from sketches and color studies on site and finished in the studio.
I am also finding that this series of works is preserving views of the landscape that are rapidly changing—often before our eyes. Views are fragile and can quickly be transformed with new buildings or industrial development, cell towers or ‘improvements.' In this respect, my work functions much like documentary photography—an unintentional consequence of the speed of life—and a personal statement of record.
A long time resident of Maine, Jude completed her BFA in printmaking and painting at the Maine College of Art, and MFA in multi-disciplinary media from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has received numerous grants and awards for her work from the Jerome Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Council on the Arts, and an Individual Grant Award from Cornell University Council of Creative Arts. Her teaching has received multi year support (2005-2010) from the Maine Arts Commission's Early StARTS program for providing professional development for early childhood educators and children. She has been the recipient of a number of residencies, most recently in 2013, at the Vermont Studio Center and upcoming in September 2013 as visiting printmaker at the St. Michael's Print Shop in Newfoundland, Canada. In addition to her studio practice, she is currently an adjunct faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Fine Arts program at the University of Maine in Machias.