An Island in Lake Superior

Partridge Point in Lake Superior, November 2017.

In the Fall of 2017,  I had this idea to create art inspired by special places in nature. In my mind, this sounded like a great idea to help people reconnect to how they feel in nature. The art would tap into people's memories of time spent in nature. But I was not sure how to actually do it. Whatever it was going to actually be, I decided to call the process an EcoMemory Experience.

We were visiting our college alma mater, Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in November of 2017 as we brought our youngest child on a college visit to check it out and I knew we were visiting with my favorite professor for coffee. This coincidence got me thinking. When I was a student, my professor Dr. Palmquist and I did field work for a senior project on a small rocky island right off the shore in Lake Superior near Marquette, Michigan. I never forgot the beauty of the lake and those gorgeous dark rocks with pink mineral veins (in geology called dikes). So, a week before our trip to Wisconsin, I just started pulling fabric and cutting it up and sewing it back together again. I made my first EcoMemory artwork for my favorite professor based on my Senior Honors Geology Project. I captured the feeling in this piece entitled "Partridge Point in Lake Superior."  I presented the artwork to Dr. Palmquist and this is what he had to say about it.

When I see your EcoMemory in the entry of our home, I reconnect with that special place. The colors of Lake Superior bring to mind the many moods of that lake. The colors and patterns of the land display the billions of years of geologic history which contribute to the 'essence' of the place.

Dr. Palmquist and I with his EcoMemory at Lawrence University

I am very pleased that you have used your college Honors Project for your EcoMemory prototype.  That area has a special aura for me too! There is a Spirit of Place that abounds there... an essence.  Just to the north of your area is a gorgeous cobble/boulder beach which I admired and felt that if it was more accessible, more people would be able to enjoy the diverse sizes, shapes, textures and colors of the boulders.  Many years later, Carol and I were enjoying a Winter getaway in Scottsdale, AZ.  On Art Night, the many art galleries have open houses. As we walked along, we could see a window in a corner gallery that showed the sculptures consisting of boulders arranged in harmonious and balanced arrangements. We entered and the gallery owner described the method used by the artist.  I immediately remembered the Lake Superior beach.  I told Carol, "I know where I can find the materials, and I can do that."  In fact, I did. I had a show called 'Stones in the Mudd' in the Seeley Mudd library at Lawrence University  (Click HERE to learn more about the art show) which attracted around a hundred people and served wine and cheese like the Scottsdale galleries.  Who would have thought this old geologist would have an art show?

-Dr. John Palmquist from Appleton, Wisconsin

P.S. I am not surprised that he is an artist. Geologists work with geometric shapes and colors in rocks and minerals all the time. It seems like a natural fit. We both turned our love of geology into an art practice.

I included the image of Dr Palmquist's art show below. If you are interested in learning more or purchasing his art, contact me and I will put you in touch with the artist.

Sugarloaf Dike on Partridge Point with Dr. Palmquist's feet for scale. so cool!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks since I will be showcasing my EcoMemory Commissions already completed and sent to clients in the upcoming Studio Notes.

Do you have a special place in nature you often think about?  
Maybe you have a place in mind where the special people in your life all get together? An EcoMemory Experience can be shared as a unique gift for those special people in your life, as well. 

If you are interested and want to learn more about an EcoMemory Experience, email me directly at or use the Contact Me form on my website.

Dr. Palmquist's art show Stones in the Mudd. How cool are these sculptures!  Contact me if you are interested in purchasing one and I will put you in contact with the artist himself.