Vulnerable Reciprocity

Vulnerable Reciprocity

I struggle with seeing how I personally cultivate a reciprocal relationship with the land. Every personal relationship to the land is different and every place also presents different relationships and connections. Reflection brought some clarification.

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A Relationship of Abundance

A Relationship of Abundance

What would happen if fear and guilt is dropped from conversations about the environment? What would it feel like to think of ourselves as part of nature rather than something separate that we need to fix? What if the land is internalized so that we are in fact, healing ourselves? What if we change perspective to be in relationship with the earth?

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The Metronome of Place

The Metronome of Place

​Landscapes are ecosystems in fluid motion. They are never static, like in landscape photograph or landscape painting. The only way to be true to the story of the land is to pay attention to the way that it sways through time. Time is the metronome that keeps the beat for the rhythm of place. Without time, there is no rhythm, no music of the land. We feel this rhythm within us when we feel we know a place. It is a part of us.

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Meaning in Negative Space

Meaning in Negative Space

Perception has a bias for objects. Objects contain information about the world and our surroundings: they can be obstacles – you need to know where they are to avoid them when walking across a room. Objects can be tools; they can be intriguing, beautiful and fascinating; they can be threatening. They frequently demand attention. We see objects for good reasons.
What is an object without all of the space around it, within it, and through it? Can an object be seen without the space? Can we understand something more complexly by switching focus on the spaces that the objects define?

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Slow Looking

Slow Looking

There are things that I have learned from all of the artwork that I have seen over the years. There is artwork that catches my attention immediately. Sometimes I really like it. But soon after I move on and my attention is pointed elsewhere, the artwork dissipates. It is gone from my memory and mind like smoke dissolving in the ether.
The ones that remain intact do not necessarily demand my attention immediately. Sometimes they are the ones that quietly wait. They do not reveal themselves in a flash, all at once and then fade. They do just the opposite: they build slowly.

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Slow Making

Slow Making

I wanted to make something fast. I see other artists producing so much work in such a short period of time. I want to do that too. Drawing, I thought, would be fast. How great would it be if I could have 30 new drawings in a month!
But the truth is, I’m slow. I am very slow. Honestly, I wouldn’t be satisfied any other way.

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Dark Heavy Silence

Dark Heavy Silence

I run before the sun rises for the opportunity to be alone in the silence of the forest. I run in the predawn to replace the chatter in my head with the stillness of the dark forest. It is within these spaces of stillness that ideas and illumination into the next creative step slip in before the chatter of the day resumes once again.

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A Most Meaningful Morning

A Most Meaningful Morning

Recognition begins fairly quickly. Knowing is revealed slowly. Familiarity opens itself to a knowledge that stretches beyond a perceptual knowing of a place to an integrated embodied knowing. It’s a knowing that happens when you can sense the rhythms and patterns without being overtly aware of them. This knowing is sensitive. It may feel like knowing something from the gut, but the gut doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s really a knowing that comes from connection. If the connection is disrupted, it is felt.

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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

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