The genesis of the monotype series from which this piece comes was my experience at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan where I was artist-in-residence in 1998. I went to observe and work with the park’s Cambrian and sandstone rock formations as a means to further expand the geological and archeological sources in my work. Much to my disappointment I found myself living in a ranger’s cabin many miles away from the cliffs. Nearby, however, was a magnificent 12-mile stone-strewn beach bordering Lake Superior. A stream, also lined with stones, flowed into the lake. Using images of the stones (miniature versions of the large formations further away) and the movement of water in the stream I was able to continue my exploration of deep geologic time as a metaphor for the evolving, complex nature of human experience.
In subsequent work I continued the beach stone iconography and reference to patterns of ‘flow’ adding new information or “flotsam”, both biomorphic and man made, to the imagery. This current work no longer references the stones and water specifically but focuses on the layering and drifting of signs. I continue to use the vehicle of ‘flow’ to incorporate new ideas and imagery into my prints.
My monotypes are made using Plexiglas plates, stencils and hand additions.
Alice Spencer has lived in Maine for almost 50 years. Over the years she has worked in a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylics and oils. She is a printmaker and the co-founder of the Peregrine Press. Currently, she is working with stencils and collage.
Over the last 35 years, Spencer has had 20 one-person exhibits. Her work has been shown extensively throughout Maine, New England and New York and was featured in exhibits at the United States embassies in the Chile and Bosnia Herzegovina. She was one of 10 women painters exhibited at the United Nations "Ingredients for Peace Celebration" and, recently, in an exhibit of Maine women artists entitled "Maine Women Pioneers". Her paintings and prints are included in numerous museum and corporate collections including the Portland Museum of Art, the Colby College Museum of Art, Simmons College, United Technologies and the UNUM Corporation.
Spencer has taught printmaking at the Haystack School of Crafts, the Maine College of Art Continuing Studies Program and in Tanzania and Mongolia. She served on the Board of the Maine College of Art and chaired the City of Portland's Public Art Committee.