Rot on the 4th of July

Rot on the 4th of July

Rot on the 4th of July HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Rot on the 4th of July Over the 4th of July weekend I went to HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Search of rot (liver-er trees). This is a selection of what I found. Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson Brown rot Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-14 Elegant Fungus Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-2 Toupe? Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-3 Deep in a logjam in Lookout Creek Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-5 Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-10 Lookout Creek logjam Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-9 Lookout Creek logjam Rot-July-4-Leah-Wilson-4 The tree doesn’t lose its grasp after it falls... Read More
HJA Day 2015

HJA Day 2015

HJA Day 2015 June 25, 2015 Decomposition & Composition: Writing and Reflection Inspired by Long-Term Research This time at the log decomposition site I was there not to write, but to see if I could figure out what to paint for ROT, opening in January 2016 at the Arts Center in Corvallis, Oregon. I have been to this site many times, mostly by myself, sometimes with one other, but never with a group, and never with Mark Harmon. This is Mark Harmon’s PLACE. This year he is conducting the thirty year mark of research and observation here. It was a privilege to be shown various types... Read More
Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

HJA Day 2015 June 20, 2015 Images From the Summer Solstice Photo Shoot Solstices/Equinoxes Project: HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Project June 20, 2015 from 5:25 AM to 8: 55PM The setup: Every 10 minutes from sunup from sundown we captured two images of the white rock in Watershed 2 and the surrounding creek. One of the two images included the color checker to enable me to calibrate every image to the proper color balance. Unlike previous sessions, Tim devised a simple, yet effective way to get the color checker as close to the rock as possible using a hiking stick and a medium metal clip.... Read More
Images From A Photoshoot – Spring Equinox

Images From A Photoshoot – Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox Solstices/Equinoxes Project Spring Equinox Photo Shoot Tim & and I arrived at Watershed 2 in the dark Saturday morning to set up for the Spring Equinox photoshoot for my Solstices/Equinoxes project. We broke everything down after sunset. I took photos every 10 minutes of the creek with my white rock sitting in the center of the image frames. These are some moments in between. Spring Equinox_Leah-Wilson White Rock in Watershed 2 Spring Equinox_Leah-Wilson Downstream flume Spring Equinox_Leah-Wilson Upstream from the pool Spring Equinox_Leah-Wilson Leah at the camera Spring... Read More
Gauges

Gauges

I’ve been in one of those post-project/pre-project limbo funks. These are the times that, I have been told, I am the most difficult to live with. I don’t have grounding in the limbo times: I’ve let go of the last project, but I haven’t yet grabbed a hold of a new one. Lack of grounding is known to make me irritable. Sometimes, if the limbo time starts to drag on, it becomes uncomfortable. The unknown starts to feel oppressive and I get anxious. I start to think that I have used up my entire allotment of ideas for my lifetime, as if there is a fixed amount, but... Read More
Verticality of Trees

Verticality of Trees

I planned to take notes and photographs when out in the field at the Andrews Forest so I wore thin glove liners. My fingers quickly became too cold to do anything but shove my hands in my pockets for warmth. I eventually gave up on the idea that I would record anything and just left it all in Fred’s car. We wandered around to a few locations without a specific purpose in mind. Fred, my favorite geomorphologist and willing collaborator, showed me some alluvial fans. When looking at a map I had to naively ask him to tell me what a fan is. We were in fact, practically standing on one without me... Read More

Some Thoughts After HJA Day

As Dana Warren passed us palm-sized convex, gridded mirrors, he told us that, as an aquatic ecosystems field researcher, he rarely looks up. Using this tool, a densiometer, to observe the sky, he still doesn’t need to look up. He can continue looking down as he typically does. With that admission my Sky/Water paintings felt more meaningful to me. I started the paintings with trepidation, thinking I was working with a simplistic concept that I feared may be too basic to explore. After holding a densiometer in my hand to look down to see the sky, I realized that I had addressed a... Read More

A Little Creative Flow

After my October residency at HJ Andrews nothing happened. It was like the experience stopped any and all creative flow. I actually started to get worried that I had used up my good idea quota. It took three months, but then an idea started to form. In late January I headed back to HJ Andrews to take some reference photos. My plan was to go to two locations on Lookout Creek, at a bridge, the other higher up along a trail in the old growth forest. It was a cold, wet day, but fairly warm for January. It was only spitting slush; at least it wasn’t snowing. But as I got closer to my first... Read More
HJA Residency Day 8: Split Tree

HJA Residency Day 8: Split Tree

HJA Residency Day 8 Split Tree Split Tree There is a tree in the forest that is straddling a very slow landslide. Every year the land slides a few more inches and the tree splits a little bit more. One day the tree will rip in two. I have been thinking of that tree since I saw it the first day I arrived. Every day that passed, the tree became more prominent in my thoughts. At the top, the tree is still one. At the bottom, I can comfortably sit inside it, the tear reaching high above me. Tim’s close friend Matt died at the age of 30 last Sunday. Ever since Tim went to the hospital to visit... Read More
HJA Residency day 8: thoughts on gouache

HJA Residency day 8: thoughts on gouache

HJA Residency Day 8 Thoughts on Gouache Aaaargh, Gouache! Thoughts on Gouache This morning is my last studio session for this stint of the residency. Although I am not satisfied with the result of working this painting/sketch for 8 mornings, I am satisfied with the effort. I felt that the struggle with the materials oftentimes dominated the process, but it also allowed me to experiment more than I may have if I had been using materials I felt more comfortable manipulating. Never feeling satisfied allowed me to obliterate parts of the painting that needed obliterating more readily. I... Read More
HJA Residency Day 7: walking distance from here

HJA Residency Day 7: walking distance from here

HJA Residency Day 7 Walking Distance From Here Walking Distance From Here I stayed within walking distance of the HJA Headquarters and my apartment, hobbled by my sore legs from the hike yesterday. I am in a hate faze regarding gouache and am thinking that I may just be done with the stuff after I wrestle this painting to death. It feels near dead now. But not quite dead enough. On my many sanity breaks from gouache I had the opportunity to check my immediate surrounds out in greater detail. Two of my favorite finds are another scientist ‘sculpture’ that has been sitting on the railing of my... Read More
HJA Residency Day 6: Old Growth

HJA Residency Day 6: Old Growth

HJA Residency Day 6 Old Growth Old Growth Today was intended as my just-past-halfway walk in the woods, sort of a day of rest. It was anything but restful. I headed to the Old Growth trail, a 3.5 mile one way trail that starts near a point on lookout creek, then ending higher up on the same creek. This was one steep trail. My legs hurt. I feel very justified to have missed my routine afternoon run. Steep, although it is, I highly recommend this trail. It is, of course, very beautiful, but it’s also interesting in that I believe it successfully shows the different layers of an old... Read More
HJA Residency Day 5

HJA Residency Day 5

HJA Residency Day 5 Routine Day 5. I’ve made some progress on the bark beetle drawing, but avoided the background. The sudden bolt of insight to tell me what to do with it sadly has not occurred. Routine The routine is wake up around 6 AM, eat breakfast and start painting until I get hungry around noon. That’s when it starts to warm up and I finally venture outside. I hit lunch hour for some of the HJA staff so I had some much appreciated company. Mark came to our picnic table with his strawberry hazelnut spread sandwich. These people are awesome. After lunch it’s time to... Read More
HJA Residency Day 4: Rodent People

HJA Residency Day 4: Rodent People

HJA Residency Day 4 Rodent People Wrestling with gouache. The lines are becoming more defined. As I work on them I’ve been thinking that the background will need to be pushed back so it doesn’t compete. But I’m getting ahead of myself Rodent People Here’s something that I learned today – people who study squirrels and such do not like to be called ‘rodent people.’ They prefer ‘small mammal people.’ Some of my few neighbors here are studying spotted owl prey. They are here until Thanksgiving trapping and counting small mammals. This is their ‘hot’ time. It’s the time when... Read More

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