Over two years ago, Marissa Hill woke up with words in her head. In the middle of the night she penned the story that would eventually inspire her senior project at SUNY Oswego.
These words became “Our Walk,” a collection of 11 paintings and picture book all created by Hill.
“Our Walk” is currently on display at The Coffeenook on West Second Street in Oswego and will be featured until the end of the month.
The story for “Our Walk” was inspired by a walk to an old oak tree Hill took with her boyfriend.
She started preliminary sketches for the project in June of 2010 and went back to the tree many times to take inspirational and reference pictures as the seasons changed.
The final product was completed in April of 2011.
Hill refers to herself as a perfectionist and wanted to challenge herself with “Our Walk” to relinquish some of the control over her medium.
“I found my best work came about when I wasn’t trying to make it perfect,” she said.
In order to face her challenge, “Our Walk” was created using watercolor monotypes.
Hill took pieces of Plexiglas in the size she wanted the paintings to be, sanded them down so the surfaces were porous, then painted watercolors onto the Plexiglas in reverse.
After the watercolor paintings were complete Hill pressed damp paper on the Plexiglas to make her prints. In such a process there’s a lot of room for error. But, Hill had success 11/11 prints.
When the watercolors transfer from Plexiglas to paper some detail is lost and colors sometimes turn out different which is how Hill gave up control.
“What this process forces me to do is not be perfect and accept things as they are,” she explained.
Her medium even echoed her subject matter, “The tree is as it is,” Hill said.
“Reverence,” she explained when asked about the theme of the collection. “Reverence for the past and nature, or the natural world.”
Hill plans to keep “Our Walk” together for another few years so she can keep showcasing the pieces together before putting them up for sale.
The paintings along with the original words Hill wrote that one night now so long ago are complied in a book version Hill also made herself.
“It’s not just art on a wall, but art you can hold in your hands,” she said.
Hill chooses the paper, cover, binding, and sews the books together herself.
Even though the paintings are not for purchase copies of the book are available.
Hill hopes a lot of people will enjoy her exhibit and anyone interested in her artwork or a copy of “Our Walk” can contact her at [email protected]