Artist Alison Moritsugu, who was raised in Hawaii and now resides in Beacon, New York, has created a gorgeously detailed series of landscapes painted directly onto wooden logs, stumps and sticks, each with their bark still intact. Using peaceful images of forests, water and mountains onto her canvas of raw pieces of wood, Moritsugu makes a strong statement about the environment around her.
In my log paintings, I examine the contrivances found in landscape paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries. These landscapes, by artists such as Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church, were deeply rooted in the political constructs of the time and depicted the land as a bountiful Eden, a limitless frontier ripe for conquest. I take these images out of their familiar context, the framed canvas, and paint directly on wood slices with bark intact. These landscapes appear as an homage to the idyllic art of the Hudson River School yet, by viewing the painting’s surface, the cross section of a tree, any sense of nostalgia or celebration of nature is countered by the evidence of its destruction.
images via Alison Moritsugu