January Roses

January Roses

Why does the forest smell like roses in January?
Shut out the light and align your breath to what you hear. You start to hear the stories that are told by water.

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Ideas with Legs

Ideas with Legs

An idea starts to form. If it asks for something else, then the idea might have legs. The idea doesn’t necessarily need to have good strong running legs. At first, it just needs to be able to stand up on its own. If it does, then there is the possibility that it could develop strong running legs.

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Playing with Magic

Playing with Magic

Color, Light, and Climbing   Douglas-fir – Top of Crown (Air Temperature), Acrylic and Resin on Wood, 2020, 46 in. x 62 in., Panel 13 of 16 Listening to the Forest – Leah Wilson Listening to the Forest Getting Physical – The Magic Bubbly I can’t really know a place until I have physical engagements with it . Making artwork about the land and ecosystems isn’t physically engaging enough. There needs to be more, and it needs to be as intense as the art making process. The making and the physical engagement are both fundamental, intertwined aspects of my... Read More
Excerpts from a Symphony

Excerpts from a Symphony

Data   Western Hemlock – Butt Flare (Dendrometer), Acrylic and Resin on Wood, 2020, 46 in. x 62 in.,Panel 7 of 16 Listening to the Forest – Leah Wilson Listening to the Forest Stream Drawing Studio Four times in one year, I sat for the duration of a day at the gauging station at Watershed 2 in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest on the solstices and equinoxes. My task was to take reference photos of a white rock sitting at the bottom of the small creek for a series of paintings entitled Solstices and Equinoxes. Every 10 minutes from sunrise to sunset I pushed the shutter... Read More
Process and Place, Cookies and Sections

Process and Place, Cookies and Sections

A look up close.   Red Alder – Top of Crown (Air Temperature), Acrylic and Resin on Wood, 2020, 46 in. x 62 in., Panel 1 of 16 Listening to the Forest – Leah Wilson Listening to the Forest A Story of a Relationship with a Place Listening to the Forest is not about wood anatomy, or data, or science. Although what you will see is wood anatomy and lines drawn from data, it is not the basis of my work, or what compels me to persevere through all of the setbacks and frustrations that come along with making a public art project. The foundation, and the impetus to continue, lie in... Read More
Introducing Listening to the Forest

Introducing Listening to the Forest

It is an exhilarating time in the studio.   Attention-Devotion, Acrylic and Resin on Wood, 2019, 46 in. x 62 in., This is a prototype for Listening to the Forest – Leah Wilson Listening to the Forest I am excited to announce that I have been awarded the opportunity to create my first Percent for Art public art project! Listening to the Forest will be permanently housed in Oregon State University’s new Forest Science Complex. The building is beautiful, replete, as you can imagine, with intricate wood interior details and extensive windows. I invite you to follow my process as I... Read More
Harmonizing with Experiential Knowing and Data Sets

Harmonizing with Experiential Knowing and Data Sets

Harmony Experiential Knowing and Data Sets Harmony Experiential Knowing and Data Sets Climbing the Discovery Tree – Leah Wilson I climb a 200ft old growth Douglas-fir tree every season so that I can feel the light quality change as I ascend above the forest canopy. This means of knowing extends past light registered and processed by my eyes. It offers a complementary way of understanding a forest that a complex data set cannot provide. I experientialy know that the warmth of the sun doesn’t have as much power over the dark, damp forest floor as it does higher in the tree. I know how... Read More
Muses

Muses

I am not drawn to the more contemporary understanding of a muse as a particular person who inspires an artist to create work, almost like a love letter about the one objectified as the muse. I am more interested in the ancient Greek understanding of the muses. They are more like nymphs who could be found in forests and streams. They are capricious beings who have ideas of their own and they are looking for someone to help them manifest those ideas into tangible creations in the world. They are transient collaborators at best.

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In the Studio

In the Studio

I find this to be a hilariously accurate depiction of my time in the studio lately. I spend hours hand cutting Dura-Lar only to find that when I am done for the day, it looks as if nothing has happened. Studio News & EventsSo much occurs behind a closed studio door. Taking inspiration from Anne Truitt's Daybook, Studio News will provide you with a glimpse into the art making process. Sign up for an insider look. Sign Me... Read More
Isolation

Isolation

Isolation I remember a conversation, not so long ago, I had with Kathleen Caprario. We both expressed the isolation we were feeling as artists living in Eugene, with its lack of contemporary art venues and support, and how tired we were of feeling so isolated. Since moving here in 2008, I have frequently questioned whether I should stay here or relocate to a city with a vibrant and thriving contemporary art scene. After our conversation, I did what I usually do: I went back to my studio to make things in isolation. But Kathleen did something different. Last summer she invited some artists... Read More
Gray Space

Gray Space

Gray Space I’m involved with a new collaborative project entitled Gray Space. Gray Space is a collaborative endeavor that explores the idea of site/context. Eight artists will separately install and document the placement of a micro/mobile-gallery called Gray Space in site-specific and potentially unsuspecting or unknown locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Each of the participating artists will select a location for Gray Space and will install a contextually specific work of art inside. Gray Space will activate public space and point to context as being inherent to the idea of... Read More
Solstices/Equinoxes: Work-In-Progress

Solstices/Equinoxes: Work-In-Progress

Solstices/EquinoxesWork-In-Progress Spring Equinox Solstices/Equinoxes: Spring Equinox, 40 in. x 77 in., Oil on 3 wood panels, 2016 Solstices/Equinoxes Project Overview These are the main questions that I posed for this project: How do the colors of the creek change throughout a day? How does the colors of the creek change over the year? Procedure at the creek On the solstices and equinoxes of one year, I spent the entire day from before sunrise to after sunset at the gauging station of Watershed 2 at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. Beginning precisely at sunrise, I took a photo of the creek... Read More
Empathy

Empathy

Empathy Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Empathy Part 5: Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Sitting at Watershed 2 Sit in the forest for a day with no agenda. Swim naked in the creek. Sleep under the stars. The only thing that is required is that you pay attention. Take yourself out of your head: It might take a few days. Stay. Speak little, or not at all. Stay until you feel at ease with the silence. Stay until you hear the rustle of something small... Read More
Faith

Faith

Faith Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Faith Part 4: Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Lookout Creek on the Winter Solstice I don’t have faith in many things at the moment. This year, so far, has been one of those years to shake most of it out of me. However, I do have faith in one thing. It has never failed me, not even once. I trust that the world is beautiful (although I still haven’t been able to figure out why it is so). My artwork depends on it.... Read More

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