John S. Miller/ Wave Studies

  • Waves are like Snowflakes Waves are like Snowflakes
  • Composition on the Studio Wall Composition on the Studio Wall
  • Composition on the Studio Wall Composition on the Studio Wall

During my Artist in Residence on Isle Royale I focused intensely on the water surrounding me. I lived on a point on the north-east side of the island and I wave watched every day. I created many sketches from my shoreline perch using a sort of short hand since everything was in constant motion. My sense of what was taking place required focused observation, note taking and many quick sketches. Because my visual notes were graphic translations, it was easy to see parts and to think in terms of constructions. I plotted out paper models, cloth and gear contraptions, linked and rotating illustrated panels (like moving images on billboards), lace cutouts, all in attempt to derive some way to better understand and depict what I thought was taking place before my eyes.

Like snowflakes, no two waves are exactly alike. Each has a unique and ever changing identity appearing and disappearing in an instant. The series on this page explores the many ways that the same basic form can be embellished to depict a distinctive way to describe a wave. The series also represents an exploration of the history of graphic art, fine art, and material from my own sketchbooks.

The last three images show you what I see on my studio wall with the waves displayed vertically like a picture. This lead to a series of prints you can see here.