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Woolworth Walk

Paul Moberg

In this body of work I explore the idea of portals, peering into what is clearly a selected view of a larger space. So often in an urban environment nature is viewed through windows or between architectural elements. The whole is obscured by the constructs of man. In the forest, the trees and mountains constrain the view. This work asks the viewer to engage their imagination in completing the whole picture by revealing so little. My tree images were inspires by a view of sycamore trees back-lit with the fall twilight sky. The trees, planted on the streets of Asheville were crowded between buildings with only a wedge of sky.  I then ventured off to the mountains and the low country in search of beautiful lines in other trees. Rarely is there a view of a tree isolated in the landscape as I remember them in the open expanses of Colorado or Illinois.

The images are layered on a floating Baltic Birch panel. The dimensionally stable 5 ply Baltic birch ply is mounted on 1" hardwood supports such that it float off the wall with the 1/4" edge wrapped in color. The image can hang without a frame for a contemporary look or be cradled within a frame. I begin by manipulating the gesso with a blade or pallet knife indexing the hand work with the photographic images to follow. Using a push-pull process, paint is applied and then partially removed always revealing some of what lies below. Strata of transparent pigments develop a patina that suggests time, wear, and weather, much like old plaster or geological formations. In the final stages, the paint is covered with one or more photographic images individually printed on hand coated fine art paper with archival ink. When wet, this paper becomes transparent and the result is a composite image with the colors and textures of the paint showing through. The ink stands bold against the background with the natural fibers of the paper exposed as texture.

I seek to pull together modern and traditional media and techniques. My hand is active in every aspect of the process that goes into making one of these images; beginning with fabricating the wooden panels and the many layers of paint, then shooting, detailing, individually printing, and mounting each images. I work with a large format Epson printer with archival K3 ink, Acrylic paints, and mulberry fiber paper from Thailand.  


Gallery 828-254-9234 | Soda Fountain 828-254-9210

25 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801
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