Drawn to trees

Dodie Logue's charcoal nature drawings are paired with sister Mary Logue's poems at Gallery 360

"Dawn," a charcoal drawing by Dodie Logue. Credit: Submitted image

FULTON — About three years ago, the nature artist Dodie Logue felt it was time for a paring-down.

Logue was going through what she described as “a little bit of a crisis” in her artistic life. She was painting and making sculpture but felt frustrated, unable to communicate what she wanted to say.

“I kind of felt like all I wanted was a piece of paper and a pencil,” Logue said.

It was another drawing implement, charcoal, that came to hand, but it worked. The world opened up.

Logue’s charcoal tree and forest drawings are based on her walks in the woods of Minnesota, the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin and South Dakota’s Black Hills. A birder, she often hikes in the morning and spends a lot of time looking into the treetops, and as a result her drawings have an immersive feel. She doesn’t sketch a thicket from across a field; she walks into the woods for a view of branches silhouetted against the hazy morning sky.

“When people are from Minnesota, they feel really familiar with the pieces,” she said.

Logue’s series of charcoal drawings were well underway when she discovered trees were also showing up in poems written by her sister, the author Mary Logue (her serialized novel “Giving up the Ghost” ran in the Star Tribune in June and July). The pair applied for, and won, a Central Minnesota Arts Board grant for a book that combines Mary’s drawings with Dodie’s poems.

“Trees” was published this month, and both sisters will be on hand for a reading and signing at Gallery 360 in September.

Said Dodie: “The images didn’t come from her poetry, but it’s surprising how well they match.”

“Trees” runs through Sept. 29 at Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St. A poetry reading and book signing with Mary Logue is 6 p.m.–8 p.m. Sept. 26. 925-2400. gallery360mpls.com