A window to the past

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The painting above are by artist Alison Moritsugu, who was born and raised in Hawaii where she finished high school before moving to St. Louis, Missouri to attend Washington University. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington and her Masters from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she currently lives. When I came across her paintings I was amazed because of the deep message behind them. I personally love paintings of landscapes because I love nature. Alison Moritsugu’s paintings provided me with wonderful landscape painting and scratched at the concerns surrounding our environment. The theme in her current work can be taken as a warning to current society about the importance of taking care of our environment, especially forests. We know that trees are essential to our survival not only because we use them to create shelter for ourselves but they are home to other species. They also provide oxygen for all living things. Moritsugu’s art sheds light on how we don’t take care of our environment, strip the land for its resources, and essentially control and shape the environment to suit our needs and wants.
In describing her art Moritsugu said “Today, photo shopped images of verdant forests and unspoiled beaches invite us to vacation and sight see, providing a false sense of assurance that the wilderness will always exist. By exploring idealized views of nature, my work acknowledges our more complex and precarious relationship with the environment.”
She shows a little history of the environment by showing a glimpse of the past while sending a message about everyday environmental concerns to examine our past and present relationship with our land. On a dead log she paints a landscape of the past. The logs act as a window to the past, to a time where the now dead log was part of a green lively landscape untouched by humans. I really love the effect of the cracks in the wood which give the notion of the windows to the past being broken and damaged. This adds to her message about the environment and the damage deforestation is causing. Some people may think that she might be cutting trees to get these logs to paint on but that is not the case, she will take them from naturally fallen trees. This would be a challenge for her because she has to make her paintings based on the size of the log she finds. One of my favorite ones is the trunk with many branches because there are branches of all sizes which she paints on. It looks like a collage which can be twisted and turned to reveal different painting. I would love to see one of her paintings in real life, or in a natural setting like a forest, by a lake or something like that. It would be mesmerizing.

Quaim Hussain
How do you think the cracks on the wood affect her painting? Dow they change/magnify the message she is trying to send?

Would you consider having one of her log painting in your house? If yes how would you display it?

What do you think about her message?



9 thoughts on “A window to the past

  1. Now this is something I absolutely love. Nature is a second home to me. It is healing and breath-taking at the same time. It’s disgusting how human being treat nature. I believe nature is the most beautiful thing this world has to offer. The fact that humans don’t respect it and treat it horribly is really aggravating. I’ve spent endless hours picking up garbage in forest preserves. Funny they call them ‘preserves’ even though people don’t treat them as such. I definitely think the cracks signify that nature is being damaged and human beings are the crack that is damaging nature. I would absolutely LOVE to have one of her log paintings in my home. It would fit in so well. It would be like having a piece of nature in my home and since nature feels like a second home to me, it would feel doubly homey. Her message is awesome, it’s a message I totally support. I would actually like to know where I could find some of her art.

  2. This is a really cool idea to see what is just looked at as firewood being used to create a lasting art piece that would otherwise lay rotting on a forest floor or burning in a fireplace. I would have to imagine that the artist works within the grooves and “flaws” in the wood to incorporate them into the painting in some way. It seems like it would be easier to use them as opposed to letting these cracks be a source of frustration. I love this idea of showing nature on natural mediums like this. It reminds me of the woodworkers and carpenters on shows where they take old butcher blocks and turn them into kitchen counter tops, or old barn doors and converting them into a table, and so on. It’s almost like a recycled piece. I like the art, but I don’t think I’d have it in my house. It’s nothing against the art at all. It’s that I have 2 kids (5, and 2) that would destroy it because they are crazy people. I like this message though. Humans have destroyed nature in so many different ways, so it’s nice to see someone trying to bring awareness to an issue like this.

  3. First word that came to my head…TRIPPY.
    I didnt know what it was untill I read your blog. I love how she recycles turns it into art sends a deep message regarding emviroment. I am definitely team green and she has just gain another supporter and a fan 😉

  4. For me the cracks on the wood magnify to art. It brings more to her paintings by making them stand out more. I think it would be kind of cool to have art like this in your house. It is unique and not like your typical art work you see everyday. By her painting on recycled logs and using images of the past to send a message to present day society is very powerful. It sends out a strong message and how serious it is to take care of our environment because it is needed for lots of things. I found it to be very unique and interesting.

  5. Alison Moritsugu her art work is very visually engaging. By her using the tree logs to paint her art of work is amazing. I would love to have this in my home. I would use the painting as legs then put over a pieces of glass. It would look amazing!

  6. The paintings are beautiful but I think the logs are just as important. I like the cracks. I agree with what you said about how we assume these landscapes will always be there for us to enjoy.
    I think the cracks are the perfect representation of the damage we are doing. As the wood dries it is likely the cracks will get even bigger showing that if we don’t change, the situation will get worse in the future. The larger ones would be fun to be used as chairs if the painting could be protected from wear.

  7. I think the cracks in the wood give it an interesting edge. Almost like a shattered mirror kind of effect. I wouldn’t want a log painting of my own, however I think they are really cool.

  8. I love this type of art. I think it’s absolutely beautiful, and I think her message is amazing. I would definitely love to have one of her works in my home. I have a piece of log art that was an engagement gift to me and my husband that we still have displayed in our home, but it’s not nearly as beautiful and colorful as her pieces. My family and I love the outdoors as well. We try and spend as much time outside with the kids as possible. We live right next to the forest preserve and there is no better feeling than being able to step outside your door and see nothing but trees, and nature.

  9. I love these pieces and i think that the message she is trying to send is very meaningful. I think the cracks on the wood just further show the damage that has been caused to beautiful nature, it’s like they are a big wound that will probably never heal because of all the damage done. I am a big fan of nature so i would really see my self displaying one of these pieces in my house. I think i would want it to be part of my living room someplace that is clean and organized.

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