Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Monica Poole - Tree Stump

I have already posted about the art Monica Poole (1921-2003) and her wood engravings.

I have recently been lucky enough to find another wood engraving by her -- titled "Tree Stump", which I picture just below.

The other pictures I have seen by her have been beautifully executed but quite traditional compositions. You know the type, very detailed studies of flowers and landscapes. This pictures takes the art of wood engraving to another level, it is a beguiling picture of a rotting tree stump, a darkly dramatic composition of decay. It reminds me of the Paul Nash (1889-1946) painting of the World Wars.

There seems to be so much more going on than a simple tree stump - is that a face I see inside the stump ? A Green Man of the wild wood taking refuse ? The only living things is Ivy, that parasitic plant that strangles the life from many a tree.

It is such a shame that wood engraving has fallen out of fashion, who does it today ? Once upon a time many a book or periodical was illustrated solely with these.
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