SOLO

exhibition

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Woodson

Natalie

UNITED STATES

Yellow and Black Photography Quote (1).p

“Welcome to my mind, and thank you for sharing this time as I try to shepherd my thoughts.”

The concept of an artist’s statement is rather confusing to me.

This is the sketch that started the series. The genesis.
I have been drawing wolves for as long as I can remember.
One October day in 2016, I found myself in one of my NYC sanctuaries: The American Museum of Natural History. That day, I wandered those low-lit halls of glowing dioramas with a desire to return to my creative nature within nature, once again. The journey home was about to begin.
February of 2017, I reunited myself with a familiar companion: an 18” x 24” sketch book.
Back to the be very beginning.
On February 28 th, these eyes opened and Skulls & Souls was born.

As a visual person, I’ve always thought of my art as my statement. It says everything that I do not know how to put into words. Writing this, is far more difficult and time-consuming to me than making the works that I am to be introducing. This observation is rather amusing and confusing. Perhaps this is the very thing I am most uncomfortable with, within myself.

Welcome to my mind, and thank you for sharing this time as I try to shepherd my thoughts.

Skulls & Souls:
Red Fox

Acrylic

NFS

In March of 2017, a routine physical put my life on hold. No, thankfully not from a surprise test result, but by a misplaced tetanus shot. My left arm no longer the arm I knew and was now left in constant pain and limited mobility. This led me into a deep depression.
Now, Life over Death was my meditation as I would gaze into the eyes of Genesis.
I sat down that cold afternoon of February 19th of 2018; put on Pink Floyd: The Wall and painted through the pain. When I awoke from my focus, this was looking back at me.
Art is nature’s most amazing source of healing; to receive and to create.

The series of Skull & Souls started in the halls of the American Museum of Natural History. While wandering those shadowed halls full of lost and found beings, I felt a kinship. As if I too were a walking display of my own environment. A collection of broken bones with scared, aged, and tattered flesh. Am I being the truest representation of my own natural form? Am I looking to these glassed eyes to find myself?

“This was the spark that started the flame. I felt a deep urge to preserve, document and share the likeness of the animals and souls that are alive in this world – now.”

There is something special about dinosaur bones. Gone so long ago, with nothing but our imagination to fill in their colors and true forms. A strong image and idea of a T-Rex with floppy ears and loose lips came to my mind. This was the spark that started the flame. I felt a deep urge to preserve, document and share the likeness of the animals and souls that are alive in this world – now.

The series of Skull & Souls started in the halls of the American Museum of Natural History. While wandering those shadowed halls full of lost and found beings, I felt a kinship. As if I too were a walking display of my own environment. A collection of broken bones with scared, aged, and tattered flesh. Am I being the truest representation of my own natural form? Am I looking to these glassed eyes to find myself?

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And in some way, this is what I am doing for my own name, life, and likeness, as well. As did Theodore Roosevelt when he made it a point to make and fill those very halls.

July 12th, 2018.

This piece still brings me great joy when I look upon it.
It pulled me in from the beginning. Like a creative fever. An empty page kept filling in before my very eyes. It consumed me until it released me.
It is difficult to put into words for me at times. I feel connected to each portrait while in creation. Time stops. And for a moment, I am the Owl and the owl is creating itself.

“Neither feather nor fur will fossilize as their skulls remain as shadows of the world’s fallen wanderers. Perhaps, these wooden art pieces of mine could fossilize for them the details that get lost and buried over time.”

July 30th, 2018

As mentioned before, art is a key to healing for me. How to work with what Life gives us is the daily riddle.
For this piece, how could I reassociate the annoying, grinding, and buzzing feeling in my left shoulder?
While reflecting on those sensations, I thought of glass etching. Then to refocus those sensations over something soft and small like the cottontail rabbit.

Skulls & Souls is a constant evolution and reflection of my life’s journey to create, share and learn. It all started with graphite drawings which quickly evolved into pen & ink, scratch board, acrylic, glass etching, and pyrography/wood-burning. The elements of working with/on wood have given the series the source it needed: a symbolic representation of the permanent mark we make on this earth. The use of nature is integral to the concept of Skulls & Souls, as both its muse and medium.

Prize Ribbon (1)

Prize Ribbon (1)

Describe your image

August 16th, 2018.

The Red Wolf is native to North Carolina – my birth state.
Uniting my natural desires with the graphic design skills learned from The School of Visual Arts while incorporating the future with the introduction of woodburning; this is a visual artist statement and piece in practice.
A full elemental statement and expression - or just perhaps my playful attempt to one.

With nature dying before our very eyes, it is my soul’s responsibility (as in my ability to respond) to capture the likeness in both body and spirit of the beings that are on the many thresholds of life and death, now. Neither feather nor fur will fossilize as their skulls remain as shadows of the world’s fallen wanderers. Perhaps, these wooden art pieces could fossilize for them the details that get lost and buried over time.