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From the Forest

Holly Friesen

My work revolves around earth-honoring images that reflect and instill connection to local bio-regions. These images internalize a reverence for the earth and shift the intent from harming the world to living in a mutually life enhancing manner.

After 30 years of painting from close observation of the forests, rocks and rivers, I feel I am no longer observing the natural world around me but rather, in a reversal of roles, the natural world seems to be observing me. Direct and spontaneous brushstrokes become intuitive movements that follow breath and echo emotional responses to this living, breathing vitality. Through a dynamic energetic exchange I feel as though I am being held within an intelligent, sentient field that expresses itself through colors, shapes and movement. I am both humbled and awed by this process.

I particularly enjoy the physicality of painting, the intuitive mark making, the hands-on application of collage and sometimes carving directly into the panel board bring me even closer to the work. I enter an unconscious wilderness through my hands and body; a primal, non-verbal process that is rich with metaphor & images. Often as I work vivid dream images arise and replace my rational, thinking brain with sensations and feelings that are experienced physically in my body.

I learn what I need to know by painting. The more I paint the less separation there is between inner and outer ecologies which results in a linking of perceptions with the natural world where attempts to define or control are useless. For me, painting is like deep prayer awakening a reverence for the earth’s inner landscape; the image is in you and you are in the image. Painting is my breath, beauty my compass, and the earth my body.

Artist’s site: Holly Friesen

All images and text are the sole copyright of the artist and gratefully used here by permission.

Single click images to enlarge.

Tags:  Contemporary Landscape, Trees, nature, earth, forest, painting, art

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