Judith Corning (Artist-in-Residence, 1993 & 1996)

Artwork shows light colored trees on a black background
"Trees at Scoville Point", 15 1/8” x 8 7/8” etching, 1996

NPS/Judith Corning

Artwork shows Isle Royale shoreline
"Untitled", 10” x 18 ½”, oil painting, 1993

NPS/Judith Corning

Isle Royale Reflection

"While I still paint every day, had an additional Artist Residency at Crater Lake, and show my work frequently, my Artist Residencies at Isle Royale, which occurred over 20 years ago, remain two of my best and favorite art related experiences. I think of them as rather separate and very different because one occurred very early in The Season and one at the very End of the Season. And that made for very different experiences. This had primarily to do with the weather and visitor numbers on the trails.

In 1993 my husband and I seemed to start The Season. Neither of us had any idea of what to expect although I grew up in Southern Wisconsin and had spent many summer weeks in Northern Wisconsin and on the Great Lakes, Isle Royale was a world unto itself. The Dassler Cabin was gloriously isolated as, of course, is the Island. It was isolation on top of isolation. Plus rudimentary facilities! And the nearest store quite a lengthy walk. Or run, depending on mosquito numbers of the day. Or maybe we could take the canoe which we were provided with and soon grew to love."

Judith Corning Self Portrait
Judith Corning Self Portrait

About the Artist

Judith Corning was an Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence from June 29th to July 14th, 1993 then again from August 27th to September 11th, 1996. She is in many ways a product of the Midwest. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a BS, Home Economics, College of Agriculture in 1961, she left for San Francisco. After spending her early years in a small Southern Wisconsin town, she now lives in very urban San Francisco East Bay. She found time to return to school for a MFA. Her focus became directed at landscape; first in black and white drawings, followed by printmaking, and finally in oil painting, which she currently pursues daily in her home studio. She works from photos taken mostly by her husband, but sometimes by her.

She is interested in catching an exact moment in time. Even using photos this can be difficult, as her husband can testify, when she jumps up and down wanting him to shoot this very second! Clouds don’t stand still. Rainbows are elusive. The light on a particular plant or tree casts a shadow that only sticks around for a moment…. or less! She found this pretty much eliminated plein air from her life. Plus the photos mean she gets to revisit places and times she really loves for days, weeks, and even months on end. Generally she has at least half a dozen paintings in progress, working on a particular one as the mood moves her…. or sometimes as the light available in her studio moves her. Each work takes at minimum a couple of months.

She has been in 11 one or two person exhibits, over 175 group exhibits, and has received a variety of awards. To learn more about Judith, visit her personal website.


Last updated: January 3, 2020

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