A painting happened

and is already over — What you see is the result!

Shawn (detail) pastel on paper © Susan G Holland

A shrewd poet friend, Paul Hunter, has defined the word painting as an event in time in which an artist reacts to something by putting paint on a canvas.

The object of art coming out of that painting (event) is actually the log, or documentation or result of the act. The painting event is over, and the object on canvas is the record of the action.

If that is so, then the viewing of the art 

object is another event happening.



ABOVE:Small images show various stages in the making of this incised and painted mango wood crock with a leafy/ feathery motif.  
A ©SGHolland carving now in  a private collection in Seattle Wa

 TORNADO , a "Shell" about 7.5" in diameter and 2.5" in height.  This arrived as a plain saucerlike shape with a bad dark mark across its face making it look unworthy of putting on a store shelf.

The dark place became a clout from which I found a twister coming down.  Dimpled concave pit marks made "clouds",  the waving grains shivered across the grain in the center, and fields moves from distance to foreground at the bottom.  The black indentation reached right through the rim,  so I made indentations all around the rim,, a pleasant pattern framing the textured bowl.

Judicious staining with iron oxide, applicaton of finishes to seal the surface, and a beeswax polish to bring out the color and grains make this a favorite bowl. 

Rescue #1
Someone somewhere is digging up roots that might otherwise be burned to make room for more trees to be planted.  They clean and season and rough carve these roots iinto shapes that are beautiful and very happy people buy the objects in the markets of the world.

Rescue #2
Someone goes through these items before they hit the market and takes out the ones that have broken places, bad color, or natural flaws that might not appeal to consumers.  The "culls" are put on shelves and disposed of in various ways-- tossed into the landfill or burnt up in fires.  And then I come shopping on those shelves and take the so-called losers into my own shop and look at them a long time.

The wood tells me what to do,  how to carve,  whether to use the flaw to make the design, or remedy it by mending the flaw or cutting it away from the piece.  Then I craft a brand new item out of the "dud" by carving, texturing, shaping, incising, painting, sanding, piercing, and even burning it into an art piece.
 ----Then it gets to go to some else's home where it will continue its journey.  Hopefully it will be nourishing to the soul before it becomes too old and wears out.

While I am doing this, I take photos of my work in progress.  This not only documents what I have done, but it also provides digital photos of high quality of the most amazing "landscapes" of the surfaces of wood, the rough and smooth, colorful and shadowed, pitted and pocked story of the process.

Then, using digital photo manipulation, I am in another genre of art altogether, with infinite possibilities to fascinate and please the eye.  Amazing renderings of these surfaces, and then abstractions of the renderings, and then croppings and distortions of  parts of the pictures... microscopic otherly places and objects that become, if they are nice enough, items made available in print as notes or wall art.