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Snowmelt Song


My traditional and digital abstract landscapes often include water. It’s exciting to paint! Paint and ink trickle over the bumps of canvas like water over stones. Clear drip paths bleed into wet paint. Solvent carves away and carries color, leaving sediment where it evaporates.

Water reflects the land around it, reveals depths, and refracts unexpected light. In digital art I can shift how each layer blends: choosing what to show, what to hide.

When I began creating abstract landscapes, I made a half-submerged paradise. I drew on the reassurance I felt while standing by the Mississippi River at Nahant Marsh. But when I learned that the seemingly untouchable river ecosystem had been poisoned by lead just 20 years earlier, I began painting my concern about humans’ impact on our environment.

These new pieces aren’t agitated. They’re more about searching for ways that we try to live side by side with nature. On the Pacific Northwest coast, people work and play together to build driftwood forts. A hardy group of locals in an Estonian bog welcome regular spring flooding. And so these pieces search like someone paddling a canoe on a misty morning, feeling for the dock that marks home. 


Megan Peterson ('20) graduated from St. Ambrose University in 2020 with degrees in painting and writing and now works as a newspaper editor and layout designer. In the meantime, she explores colorful, abstract landscapes in traditional and digital media. Her Instagram account at @megan.v.peterson includes her artwork and short reflections.

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