Mitchell Lonas Sees Poetic Beauty in Nature

by Margot BuermannPosted on


North Carolina artist Mitchell Lonas uses a unique medium of incised metal to convey the dynamic and awe-inspiring forces of nature. His ethereal images of bird nests and trees are the results of a carefully developed process, which requires equal parts artistic vision and technical precision. Lonas starts by sketching objects in the natural world that he comes across during his travels or that have been gifted to him by family and friends. He then uses customized cutting tools to carve their images into large, painted aluminum panels.


The ghostly subjects appear to float above the canvas, an illusion the artist creates through use of negative space. They also produce a shimmering effect as light is picked up by the carved aluminum lines when viewed from different angles.


Lonas is inspired by all things created in nature, from the intricate patterns in shells and feathers to the powerful drama of waterfalls. His latest series Convergence explores the phenomenon of murmuration, when starling flocks take to the sky and create mesmerizing displays of synchronized, acrobatic flight. Swirling across the black metal canvas, Lonas’ birds are caught in various stages of transformation, at once individual shapes neatly defined, then gradually becoming more abstract as they fly gracefully in formation.


Originally from Tennessee and a graduate of art history at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Mitchell Lonas currently works from his studio in Asheville, North Carolina. His work has been exhibited at the Callan Contemporary gallery in New Orleans and Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville. View more of his artwork on his website.

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