J. Alice Sipple

AOS Artist Directory |

J. Alice Sipple

J. Alice Sipple

Mixed media artworks and oil paintings

Location @ AOS:

Arlington Center for the Arts (20 Academy St), 4th Floor

I am an artist and teacher with professional experience in graphic design and communications. I have taught a wide range of art courses at the secondary school level in countries such as Ecuador, Switzerland and Egypt.

In recent years, my work has addressed the essential nature of freshwater. The work has grown alongside a concern for the accessibility of freshwater across the globe, and began with a focus on freshwater plants such as the water lily of northeastern US, papyrus of Egypt, and the lotus flower of India. My art took this direction while living in New Cairo, Egypt, where freshwater is scarce. My medium of choice is also water-oriented – combining sumi-e ink, watercolor, and cyanotype printmaking (an early photographic process that uses sunlight to expose the print and water to develop it). The cyanotypes shown here are made by placing plants or transparencies found on a lake shore on top of pre-treated paper, and exposing the paper to sunlight. Gazing at the prints as they develop in a bath of water, or following the charcoal-based sumi-e ink as it travels across a wet surface, is a meditative experience which I hope is reflected in the work. This process has helped me to rediscover the many ways in which the lives of human beings are woven into the natural world.

I am currently exploring the ways in which plant life and the human body are closely intertwined and how both rely on sunlight and fresh water to stay alive. Tracking the branch-like system of arteries that move in and around the heart and lungs led me to reflect upon the ways in which the roots of plants, trees and fungi connect and communicate underground. The scientific findings that are described in Suzanne Simard’s book, Finding the Mother Tree, have provided evidence to support my belief that humanity and nature are deeply connected. Mixed media seems to lend itself well to portraying this interconnectivity. A variety of textures and materials living symbiotically on one surface.