Oregon Artist Presents Artwork Using Trees

Oregon Artist Presents Artwork Using Trees

We've all heard about animals creating art; an elephant, chimp, or seal that paints pictures, albeit abstractions, usually by following a training procedure complete with tasty rewards.

But art created by a tree? That is what one Oregon artist is proclaiming in his new series of art images. Select cross sections of wood grain reveal recognizable figures "drawn" by the tree's own natural pigmentations. These images are sanded smooth, photographed and enlarged into wall art by artist Terry Woodall.

The first public showing of this new art work occurred during Miami Basel Week, in the Wynwood Art district of Miami, Florida. The "Endangered; Art for Apes" exhibition selected two images depicting primates for their December 2013 fund raising art event. "Climber" shows a monkey scrambling upwards, and "Mandrill" shows the vibrant face of the creature in a color enhanced piece. In an interesting twist, the tree induced art by Woodall competed alongside the abstract art of a chimpanzee named Bubbles, the former pet of Michael Jackson.

Based on the art concept of hidden figure design, Woodall's practiced eye catches the rare, noteworthy images in the wood he uses for wildlife and sea life sculptures. While working on thousands of carvings in a career spanning thirty years, he has collected dozens of animals, birds and human faces discerned from the maze of wood grain. Some of Woodall's tree expressions are reproduced in the natural wood coloration, others are color enhanced for extra effect. In some cases, the much smaller original wood piece is displayed alongside the enlargement.

These sylvan images are not from just any wood, but are expressions of the rare and mysterious myrtlewood tree, found only in the temperate rain forests of coastal Oregon. The tree's process in producing the images, which in some cases is sparked by a decay inducing bacteria, could take decades or even centuries. A brochure and guide to these myrtlewood forests is distributed by the Oregon State Parks Department, and, not surprising, one description in the brochure includes a natural human face image provided by Woodall.

In his artist statement, Woodall clarifies that "I would assert that trees can harbor a certain amount of wisdom just by virtue of their existence, based on the fact that they can clutch the earth and maintain their lives for centuries, even millenniums. I do not purport anything scientific about these images, like trees having a hidden intelligence, but make a philosophical assessment based on the spiritual being and soulfulness of all living things. Living trees have produced the images, I have made the interpretations, and will leave all speculations and extra perceptions of the art to the viewer."

To view more wood pictures turned into art, see "Myrtlewood Magic" on the gallery page at

Terry Woodall, Artist
Ph. 541-756-0752

Read more news from Terry Woodall.

SOURCE Terry Woodall

Oregon Artist Presents Artwork Using Trees

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