Artist Paints on Fallen Logs to Reflect Their Origins

Rebecca OConnell
Alison Moritsugu
Alison Moritsugu / Alison Moritsugu

Hawaiian artist Alison Moritsugu is best known for her hyper-realistic oil paintings. But her landscapes have an interesting twist: they're painted directly on an object included in the scenes they depict. Through her pieces, all painted on logs, Moritsugu offers viewers a visual history of nature and how it changed as early settlers arrived.

"Although I am a landscape painter, I have always been drawn to the decorative arts. My log paintings also explore this concept of decoration. By painting directly on log slices, my landscapes now serve a decorative function," she says.

The artist collects most of her canvases in the Northeast, opting for trees that have fallen from storms, or wood that is otherwise going into the chipper. She then lets the wood dry for five to 10 years, and treats it in an anaerobic chamber to prevent bugs.

In each of Moritsugu's series, the shapes she uses move from loose and natural to concise and geometric. "This reinforced the idea that the land was moving from a natural state to a man-made one," she explains.

You can see a selection of her work at New York's Littlejohn Contemporary until December 12.

Images courtesy of Alison Moritsugu. 

[h/t: My Modern Met]