Saturday, December 31, 2016

something new to carve

So has anyone carved a "peek-a-boo Santa"? Well I was given a cut-out of one and shown some pictures of how they are normally carved. Yet as many of my family and friends know, I am not always normal. It must be the cartoonist in me that hampers this.

So here is how it's supposed to be done; normally you carve Santa's face peeking out of the tree, so this is done as a relief carving. As we talked about how most people carve this, I continued to look at the silhouette and began to see a completely different face in the wood, mostly the nose and then of course the ear. It seemed so obvious I just had to carve what I saw, that's just how it's done, at least in my mind.

So the first one was carved and I was really happy with how he came out. But as I was gifted two of these, I thought I would carve one my way and then carve the other as it was set-up to be carved to join in with the fun of the other carvers. "But something happened on the way to the forum" and once again I began looking at the wood silhouette and it hit me.

I did it backwards, that side was where the ear should be carved after all it's the better ear. Then this side would make a great nose and well, here we go again, what fun. So as you can clearly see I never carved a "peek-a-boo Santa" but that's OK, I can always cut one out and give it another try. Who knows what I will end up with the next time I try this. After all it's all in how you interpret what's in the wood. Michelangelo once said; "Every block of stone has a statue inside of it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

as always, 
Good night and May God bless

Monday, December 26, 2016

scrap wood and cutouts, butternut style

So in the past few days heading into Christmas I played around with a new knife I had been gifted and a few pieces of some scrap wood, and one cut out. Not only had the time in the evenings to carve them but also got them painted.

The cowboy has already headed on to his new home and the other two's fate is yet to be determined.

 All three were carved out of butternut and for most carvers this wood is left unpainted due to the beautiful grain. I on the other hand love the look the wood has when it has been painted and the way the pores of the wood can show through and give the carving a nice vintage look. Butternut is a wonderful wood either way, so if you have never carved with it, you might want to give it a try.

 This little guy was carved from a pattern I designed and will have in my pattern book that should be published in the up coming month, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise". He is only 1 inch thick and  just shy of 4 inches long.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a Happy New Year

as always, 
Good night and May God bless

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

So I tried this yesterday and will try again today. Folks have wondered what I have been up to lately well this is a pictorial rundown of my recent efforts.

as always, 
Good night and May God bless

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I finished off another one pt II

 So yes the other day I stated emphatically that I was done carving and would begin painting. Since then I carved two more before beginning the painting process. I carved one more Santa and then I carved a hillbilly Christmas ornament. I am having a good season thus far but it is cutting into what I had laid out for the month of November. Now December and the Christmas season is upon us and I have begun to say this and that will and won't get done this year. But you know what, that's OK. Sometimes we forget that we can come up with a game plan but nothing in life is etched in stone and we can't always accomplish all that's in front of us because we simply can't predict what the future holds.

 So the much anticipated book may not hit the shelves until the first of next year and the number of carvings I will carve for this season may end up being more than planned, but that too is just fine. A good friend recently told me "don't let it stress you, this is not the season of stress yet the season of joy". We all need to make decisions every day, what will yours be? I will choose to leave all the stress behind me as best I can for as Scrooge said "I am a mere mortal, I am liable to fall". The truth is that we are all mere mortals and fall prey to all the stress of each season. But this one is of Joy and Hope if we choose to believe.

as always, 
"Good night and May God bless"

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I finished off another carving last night and that brings me to 4 that need painting so today should be the day I stop carving and paint some new ornaments. I also have this guy singing that needs some color as well.

Maybe he's singing a Christmas carol or he's from back in the day when rock n roll was rock n roll. Either way He will need some color as well and will include him in my painting session.

Then I will need to put down the bass wood and knives and make some head way with completing my book. You know I am beginning to believe that I may not be good at multi tasking any more, maybe I never was.

as always, 
Good night and May God bless

Friday, December 2, 2016

the holiday season pt 2

I got the carving from the previous post painted along with a few others recently. I am trying to keep up with my shop and keep some carvings in there during the Christmas season. I also got two more carvings carved out and will be carving one or two more before my next painting process. I like to paint up three to four at a time due to the process of acrylics and the way that I layer my colors. Since my time down at Hickory, hanging out and carving with the likes of Dwayne Gosnell, Mitch Cartledge and Kevin Applegate it seems I can see some improved way I carve the faces of my ornaments and characters. This is what all carvers hope for to see some improvement and growth in my carvings. Yet I still have a book to get out and will soon have to call an audible and get the finishing touches completed and the book out there and published. I will give updates as they become available.

as always, 
Good night and may God bless

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

tis truly the holiday season

 So yesterday I started an ornament and finished off the carving portion last night. I see many things I like with this guy and a few I am not that fond of but that always seems to be the case. I am slowly building up to have a paint session and will get to it shortly. Also have the book that is in need of being completed so need to get a more refined schedule to make sure I take care of my shop but also get the book out as well.

as always, 
Good night and May God bless

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

time to let go

 Well this year I made the decision to not hold on to some carvings after all I can carve more. But for me some carvings are like certain illustrations, they just hit a nerve with me and in the past it has made it hard to let them go, but that was then and this is now. After all don't I want people to have a chance to own some of what I consider are my best carvings, well don't I?

Give me a minute, I'm thinking about it.

So yeah when it comes down to it I do. I came to this realization at the Hickory show this past month when talking to a fellow carver. He made me realize that some of my most treasured carvings are the ones that will best represent me and my work, so why would I want to hide them away. So one or two of these are already in my shop and more will be shortly. I hope that they will bring the same joy in their new homes as they did to me while in mine.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and as always, 
Good night and May God bless

Saturday, November 19, 2016

practice pieces

Here are two of my practice pieces, just some face doodles to work on how I carve the features of the faces. After all we always have some scrap wood so why not put it to good use. On the first one my main focus was the nose and eye area and the depth I was getting from previous carvings. I am working on having stronger profiles for my characters.

The second one was just playing around to see what I might come up with. This one was not as deep so I only worked the two sides though I could have carved something into the sides but overall I was happy with what I had so I left it as is.

Both have some good qualities to them and will continue to doodle and strive to improve my overall detail and design.

as always, 
Good night and may God bless

Saturday, November 12, 2016

new carver old wood and a study stick or two pt 2


I have modified the study stick just a tad; this is now my Three Dog Night version of a study stick. Yes I am old enough to make a Three Dog Night reference and if you are scratching your head, you are not old enough to understand it. Let's move on, I wanted to get an idea of how this wood would take to a stain and sealant and I also wanted to make it a unique piece for my friend to own. In wood carving there are carving principles but there are no rules, if you can think it you can carve it, for the most part. After all I was told a few years ago that you can't paint butternut, that due to the grain the colors would bleed and it would be just horrible. "Not so fast my friend", it paints different than bass wood but it paints just fine and it gives it a wonderful and vintage look.   

Matter of fact I will be painting this guy in the not so distant future, cause that is what I do, I paint butternut.

as always, 
"Good night and May God bless"