I guess in a way, you folks can blame my artistic inability for the fact you’re reading this.
Anyway... I love art and admire artists. Over the last few years, I’ve begun collecting pieces of various descriptions. Most of them have been purchased at yard sales or flea markets. A handful have come from galleries or directly from the artist. They have very little in common with each other except that many depict animals and each of them spoke to me on some level. Surrounding myself with these carvings and sculptures and paintings and photographs reawakened my long-dampened dream to become an artist myself.
Many years ago, I was tremendously impressed when I read about a sculptor who was asked how he fashioned such lifelike, detailed figures from rock and wood. He said something along the lines of: “If I’m carving a horse, I just remove the pieces of wood or stone that aren’t a horse.”
Understand, that at 58 I hold few illusions about myself, my abilities, or lack of same. I didn’t buy paints or modeling clay. Been there - totally sucked - you wouldn’t have wanted the t-shirt.
Nope. I bought myself a fine, three-bladed pocket knife.
This is what it looks like:
Yes, me and that beauty are going to carve ourselves some wood. Now, I’m not fool enough to set my artistic bar overly high. I’m not going to carve a wood nymph being ravished by satyr, much as I might like to contemplate the project. Not right from the get-go, at least. I’ll need a bit of practice.
This is me sitting on the back porch steps with my first piece of raw material - a piece of wood:
Taking a leaf from the aforementioned artist’s book, I decide that what I will do is remove all the bits of wood which are NOT part of what I wish to carve.
After mulling creatively for a moment, I decided to turn this piece of wood into a stick. So, here’s me hard at work reshaping the wood into my artistic vision.
A minute later - told you it was a really good knife - voila! The finished product! A fine-looking stick.
Quite frankly, it wasn’t as difficult as it looks from the pictures.
I guess I’m epter than I thought as an artist. I just struggled for decades to find the right medium.
I’m mulling my next project now. It’s a three-inch long piece of wood about as big around as a pencil. Without hardly squinting at all, I’m pretty sure I see a toothpick in there, wanting to come out.
(All photos courtesy of Son #1)