Museum Stump Art
While wandering the grounds of the museum, I came across a recently cut stump. As fresh as the saw dust was and with such nice surface colors, it likely had only been exposed for a couple of days. I was, once again, struck by the fact that the images I was able to create that morning were only possible with the exact cuts that the saw made. Not that they were planned or meant to be artistic by the person that took the tree down. But, that’s what makes it fascinating because the way it was cut uncovered art that nature had hidden inside the tree.
I was attracted to the syrupy looking colors on the left hand side of my Honey Line piece. For aesthetic reasons, I put the scene in my camera’s sensor so that those gorgeous colors essentially formed a jagged diagonal line. I then ensured that the sensor plane was as close to the surface angle of the area as I could get it so that the focus would be sharpest along the edges of the line. Artistically, I liked how the two sides had both contrasting (e.g., silky versus hard and dry) as well as similar properties (e.g., arcs and squiggly lines). The high level of captured detail allows texture, saw dust pieces, and cracks in the wood to be seen.
As I was working the stump, golden light from the morning sun started to wash over it. Having the ability to influence an image with those tones is one of the primary reasons I like to be on-site before the sun comes up. Here, I loved how they provide a natural highlight to the ridges created as the saw dug its way through the wood. Artistically, I felt that the complex blend of lines (e.g., diagonals, arcs, and swirls) clashed with each other and created a certain amount of tension. The underlying shapes and warm colors in Brewing Storm reminded me of how nature paints clouds during a sunrise, and, in accordance with the adage, the red in the sky is a sailor’s warning. Texture, saw dust pieces, and cracks in the wood can be seen here as well thanks to the high level of captured detail.
The swirled lines, arcs, and colors in my Dunes composition reminded me of sand. As if Mother Nature attempted to render what blowing, drifting sandbanks look like using only the wood from inside a tree as the canvas. As in the previous pieces, the high level of captured detail allows texture, saw dust pieces, and cracks in the wood to be seen here too.