Why Wood? - Aug.20,2016
So what is the fascination with wood? As i am working on the current painting, with lots of time to think during the process, I was thinking about the variety of interests and styles that artists have. I've dabbled in a bit of abstract many years ago, and I understand it in other artists' work, but it isn't my natural 'go to' place. Some people have asked about conventional landscapes, and that also is not my interest, especially the typical trees and sky paintings that are done quickly and with simply brush strokes. But I have seen amazingly bold and colourful landscapes with a modern twist to them, but at this point, I don't feel it is my skill set. Maybe if I reach a point where I am more financially secure, I can take the time to explore. But for now, I need to follow my base and comfort zone.
I understand wood. I understand what I'm seeing.
I've also been asked if I've ever considered doing a painting of a newly carved totem. My answer is simply 'No'. There is no point in it for me. A great photograph of a new totem would suffice, catching all that beautiful freshly carved and painted wood. I come in once Mother Nature has had time to do her thing, performing her own evolving artistic creation.
I get how the patinas work, and how the forms interact with the light, the sun, and the weather. For me, that is the evolving beauty and strength of wood, carved or otherwise.
The painting I'm currently working on is challenging in that it isn't carved. Other then having been stripped of its bark to become pier poles coated with tar, it is still in its natural shape, with all it wood grains, cracking and splintering. My task with this painting is not to record them with absolute accuracy (cracks, splintering etc.), but to be faithful to what the eye sees, and the impact of the composition. I don't need to paint in every wood grain and every fleck of wood in order to capture what struck me about them in the first place. I am responding to the ah-ha moment when I came across these poles that had drifted onto the shore. I was moved by all the colours; the dark blues of the remaining tar, the rusts of the hardware still on the piles, and the powerful composition of everything together. I knew that I had to take as many photos of them 'now' as there was no guarantee that they would still be there another time, or whether the cluster would not have changed.
I don't have any immediate plans for another painting of these poles as I do need to further develop the totem studies series 'Journeying With The Totems'. But then, nothing is carved in stone (or should that be wood). One plans, but remains open to the reality that it may all change around the corner. But I have a library of pics of these pier poles which I can crop at will. There is one other picture that I really love, but it has a number of rusted metal cables wrapped around the poles, that have the same twisted shape as with large rope. It would be very intricate work to painting all the 'ribs' which are also ribbed with the finer strands that make up the 'rope'. So I'll think on it.
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