Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jedediah

And here's another work table escapee!  The head for this one was recarved twice before I was satisfied with the result.  What was once a piece that I just didn't like became one I sorta liked and finally into one I really like and should be a real winner once painted.  Should be lots of color on this one.  The glasses and large corncob pipe give him the appearance of an old sage of the mountains.

Just a couple more photos in the Gallery.  Hope you like this one too.  Now I've got one more to clear the table that still needs a hat so it's off to the workshop!

Muley

I've been clearing off my work table and this is one of the first results.  As I've mentioned before, each Tuesday I set down at the Grove Senior center with a few other fellas for a couple hours and in that time, between jokes, I can usually knock out a head.  Some immediately become the next character if their features or attitude grabs my attention.  Others gather dust until I can come up with some way to present them.  This one turned out pretty well and once painted should make a nice little carving.

Hope you like him.  There's just this one photo.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

After The Hunt - Finished

You might be wondering where we've disappeared too for the past two months.  Well, we're still around, just overloaded with things happening around the place.  However, as you can see by the photo to the left I've gone and finished the project we were working on.  I apologize for skipping ahead but it was just something I had to do. With the success of the Dayton show and the upcoming trip to the Charlotte, NC show in February I had to move on to hopefully flesh out new pieces for that exhibit. 

I think he turned out really nice and the addition of the shield worked out just as I thought it would (personally, I think the shield is the best part of the piece!)  There are more photos in the Gallery and I'm proud to say that he sold immediately.

As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Indian With Lance - Part 2

Indian With Lance - Part 2 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Indian With Lance - Part 1

Here's part 1 of the new video series.  Hope you can carve one of your own.

The Kid

With the new interest in Billy the Kid caused by the finding of the new photo I thought I would do another version of him.  I had a generic head on the work table which I didn't much care for so I repurposed it for the Kid.  One thing I would have changed is decreasing the size of the hat brim but it's too late for that now.  His clothing is is taken from the photo most people associate with him.   He stands about 12" with he base.

More photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

The Gambler

I had a little fun with this one by adding a small jewel.  I also used a liner brush to create the checkered pattern to his coat.  I added some iridescent color to all the clothing accept the white to make it pop.  I think it worked out pretty well.  You can just barely see the card stuck in his hatband in the photo to the left but it shows up clearly in the side view in the Gallery.  I cut it out of a piece of roof flashing.  with the base he stands about 12" tall.

The Old Timer - Finished

This one was finished a couple weeks ago. He stands about 12" tall with the base and is a little more realistic than normal.  Looking at the photo I think a little less white on the beading patterns would have make him look more pleasing but he still looks pretty good.  Considering the more realistic appearance I could have also broadened his shoulders a bit which would have made the knife sheaf a little less prominent.

More photos in the Gallery.  They keep changing things in there for some reason.  Seems to get more difficult to load and view photos in there so I hope you can find them.  Comments welcome as always.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Old Timer

After our trip up to Woolaroc Museum to see the new placements of my scenes I got my usual recharge after viewing all the fantastic western collections of sculpture, paintings and artifacts.  It was time to hone up Old Reliable and get to work on something.

I decided on another Mountain Man and here's the progress so far.  The body and base are finished and I started working on the head this morning.  That's a corncob pipe in his mouth and he will be wearing a hat....yet to be determined what kind.  Hopefully, I can get him done in the next few days as I'd like to finish one more in addition to him before striking out for the Dayton show.  I really like the way this is headed  but most importantly I like being able to get back to carving.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Standing Red Bear

I finished this piece before my eye op but he'd taken up residence on the coffee table so I could admire him over the past weeks and I do admire him.  I love the colors and they actually look better  in real life.  The blanket is really bright and that black line sets it off even more.   The ear rings are metal and with the bask he stands about 14-15" tall.  A real nice piece.

There are more photos in the Gallery and once again Google has changed things around in there.  Comments welcome.

Jar Head

I actually made it back into the shop the other day to finally finish this little bust.  He turned out so well I'm thinking of using him for the Dayton show carving auction instead of "Pancakes".  I'm sure there are a lot of viewers out there who will relate to this one more than the other.

I made the hanging helmet staps out of tupelo and the small strap over the front of the steel pot out of a thin strip of aluminum flashing.  The dog tags are also cut from some flashing, held to the body by a soldered post.  The M1 rifle is a seperate piece doweled to the back, working from a photo I tried to make it as accurate as possible and yes, the strap buckles are not accurate but look ok to me.

I really like this one and will no doubt do some more soldiers later on.  As always your comments are welcome.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Buffalo Bill Cody

Put the final brush strokes to this one yesterday and considering my constant squinting he turned out pretty nice.  There are more photos in the Gallery section and will look forward to your comments.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Buffalo Bill CodyThere are

Buffalo Bill Cody is one of my heroes in American History.  Truly a remarkable man.  In his time he was without a doubt the most famous man in the world.  If you ever get the chance to visit the Cody Museum in Cody, Wyoming should take it as it is one of the best western collections around.  And of course you can stay at the Irma Hotel and sample their fantastic buffet, almost worth the trip itself!

I've done quite a few busts of Buffalo Bill over the years but in this one I tried to be a little more realistic.  This one is about 12" tall with the walnut base and should be a winner once painted.  There are a few more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rooster Finds A New Home

We handed over my carving of "Rooster" to the new John Wayne Museum this past Tuesday.  They were quite excited about receiving it and placed it in the "True Grit" display case right next to the eyepatch John Wayne wore when filming the movie.  Funny...when I mentioned that Judy and I had seen one at the Autry museum in California I was told that Wayne insisted on a new patch each day of filming.  Also in the case were the jacket he wore along with his pistol and a commemorative carbine.  Harry Jackson's bronze of Rooster was also setting close by. (Years ago Judy and I took a tour of Jackson's studio in Cody, Wyoming.) Our Rooster fit right in and the weathered colors I used really matched the overall look.  The Museum will be publishing a newsletter soon about the presentation and I will post it once received.

When I was honored a few years back to have some of my larger scenes included in the permanent collection of the Woolaroc Museum here in Oklahoma I thought that it was the crowning moment of my carving career.  While it certainly is a high mark I feel that this one measures right up there with it.  Seeing that little bust of mine in among the other memorabilia of that great star and American makes me feel quite humble and truely honored.  What a thrill.

I have posted some other photos of our trip to Winterset, Iowa in the Gallery should you like to see them.  As you can see by the photo of Brian Downes, the museum's Director, Judy and our cousin Carl Heinrich, standing in front of the house where Wayne was born,  it was a perfect day all round.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Rooster

This has got to be one of the best I've done so it certainly deserves the "Classic" designation as an example of my best work.   I had a little doubt about the collar but it turned out that that was one of the easiest parts to carve.  I did reinforce the tips with some super glue for a little bit of extra protection.  The painting was also quite easy and, like The Searcher, I used a lot of dry brushing to create a well worn effect.    When mounting it to the base I turned it to emphasize the eye patch...maybe just a little bit too much but when I took the photos this morning and viewed the one showing his right side I think it was the right decision.

This one will be my choice to offer the museum as it's in the caricature genre and therefore more representative of my work.  Whichever one they prefer...The Searcher or Rooster, the other is already spoken for and will reside in a collection with a few of his buddies.

There are more photos in the Gallery and I will look forward to and encourage your comments as I really appreciate you views of my work .... both positive and negative.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Rooster

I think I have a new submission for the John Wayne museum to consider.  While "The Searcher" was nice I think this one, once painted, will be the real standout.  There are several more photos in the Gallery and I can't wait to paint him.

Comments welcome as always.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Pancakes"

Here's one more.  "Pancakes"!  Cookie just whipped up a stack of flapjacks for the boys as a special treat for their hard, dusty work keeping those cows in line.  I had fun with this one, especially making that stack of hotcakes and painting them to look like the real article.  I hit it pretty close I think.   And again, with my growing Cataracts, doing the fine painting was a real chore.  Come on September!

I hope to contribute this one for the carving auction at the Dayton show this November.  If I remember correctly, it's an open theme again this year as last.  My Emmet Kelly from a few years back when for a nice sum whick benefits the Dayton club and I hope this one does even better.

There are more photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do. 

The Searcher

Put the finishing touches to this one today and am pretty satisfied with it.  If things work out it will be destined for the new John Wayne Museum in Winterset, Iowa.  Seems the Director of the museum and the Wayne family saw a photo of the small bust I did earlier and asked if I could do another.  Their only requirement was that there was no cigarette in the piece.  No problem said I.  I gave a lot of thought to just how I would portray him, settling on either Rooster Cogburn or Ethan Edwards from the movie The Searchers.  As I have a Grandson named Ethan and as The Searchers is probably my favorite Wayne movie I put the coin back in my pocket.  I also wandered away from the caricature theme a bit and tried to be a little more realistic.  Hope it works.

This one is about 12" with the base and while it looks a little generic without any color I hoping that the application of paint will bring the figure to life.  If now I have Rooster Cogburn partially completed as a fall back.

Anyway, I hope you like him so far and will look forward to your comments.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Red Hawk II

Here's a new one I just finished today.  Approximately 8 inches tall with the base.  I have to admit that I had my doubts about him but after applying the facial paint everything seemed to come together.
For the texture on the robe I again used some fine gravel held in place by clear acrylic medium (Mod Podge).  I really ike the way it looks as the rough surface seems to disperse light more than the normal burning.  Again, like a lot of details, once reduced in scale they lose almost any resemblance to reality.  The ear rings are made from copper wire with aluminum ducting material for the fobs. The skin side of the robe needed something so I added a few designs to bust up the surface.

I hope you like him and will look forward to your comments.

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Plains Warrior

I put the final touches to this one just a few minutes ago and believe me when I say that I'm glad to see it move out of the shop.  Someone asked me just how long I've spent on him in carving and then in painting.  Who knows?  All I do know it was long enough.  Doing some of my carvings I reach the point of saturation to where I can no longer really enjoy the process as much as looking forward to the enjoyment of completion.  This is one of those.

There is one thing that I was going to do but at the moment thought better of it.  The leggins are kind of plain.  I could have ran beaded strips down each leg but I think that would have been just too much.  I also could have painted on black stripes on each leg to indicate counted coups but I think that too would be just too much.  Seeing it now I think I made the right decision.

I added some horse hair decorations to the ends of the bow and arrow cases and the tomahawk handle.  As they swing freely they add a little motion to a static figure.  I used low doamed brass tacks for the decoration on the belt and added a leather strap to the shield.  With the base the figure measures right at 21".  An impressive carving.

Wrapping things up I think this turned out to be an example of my best work and the collector who has spoken for it will have a really nice piece to add to his growing collection.  I know it will have a good home and lots of old friends.  Hopefully, they'll get along with each other.

Lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do.

How To Make Glasses


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Plains Warrior-The Color Begins

With the carving finished it's on the paint table and getting some color.  I spent a few hours this afternoon painting the shield and attaching the feather.  The design comes from a combination of several shields I photographed while at the Prairie Edge store in Rapid City, SD last fall.  It really turned out nice.  On the breast plate it was kind of boring so I made a small decoration out of a carved circle and then, using wire and beads, added some flourish to hang from the bottom  That did the trick.  There is also a knife in a beaded sheaf that hangs from the belt.  Thats next on the list to be painted.  


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Plains Warrior

Here's my progress so far.  I haven't attached the arms yet so there is still a lot of carving to do up in that area.  Naturally, the remainder of the hair needs to be added and there is still a lot of detailing that needs to be done....feathers, burning, etc.  Unfortunately, the head is out of scale with the body and the feet are too large.  I'm going to have to give those to things a lot of thought cause I started out for this to be a realistic piece.  What to do?

Anyway, I thought you might like to see it in the rough stage.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fence Work 2 - Finished

Yahoo!  Finally got this one off the work stations.  Had so many other projects going in the shop it was hard to get the time needed to complete it.  But it's done and I think it looks great.

In painting the figure I muted most of the colors to give the figure a look of having actually worked.  I really like the dark, bluish gray shirt and the dark neckerchief. I especially like the suspender area on his back.  I took a closeup of it.  Neat.   Another nice thing about this piece is that he will eventually join up with the earlier carving titled "Fence Work" that I did a couple of years ago.  They go together quite well....one buy digging the post holes while the other is stringing the wire.  I've talked the collector into allowing me to hang on to the new one until after the Dayton show so I have something new on my table.

There are lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Fence Work II

At last!  Boy, it was a chore getting this one completely carved.  With all the work around the place and the hellacious amounts of rain, it seems like we've been mowing almost everyday to keep up with it.  But as the hot weather has finally moved in the showers seem to have stopped, it's on to the paint table with this fella.

I know I just recently finished a carving with the same title but I thought I'd do another showing another aspect of this activity.  If you've ever used a pair of post hole diggers around here where there seem to be more rocks in the ground than dirt you'll know why cowboys would rather be in the saddle than on the ground.  I constructed this set out of some roof flashing after measureing a real set.  Bending them into shape and anchoring the two halves to the pols a nail and a drop of solder hold them in place and allow them to operate. And they do operate, at least until their anchored to the figure..

The figure is basically the same as others that I've done but I did spend a little extra time on the back of his vest to add a little more detail to the strap.  I really like the way it looks now.  I had earlier thought of using a barbed wire fence and had carved a tin bucket which would have held a hammer and staples but decided that a wooden fence would be more interesting.  So, instead of the bucket I gave him a pick which he would definitely need if he dug those holes anywhere around our place.

So, it's off to the paint table.  More photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

John Wayne Gets Some Color

Finished this one up yesterday and it turned out really nice.  I forgot to measure it but it's around 10-12 inches tall with the base.  I was fortunate enough to sell it before it was even painted so I hope the collector likes the color version.  The Duke will take up residence soon in south Texas...a good place for him cause he'll be joining quite a group of old Out West friends.

There are several more photos in the Gallery and I apologize if it's hard to negotiate that site but Google just keeps changing things.  Hope you like him and I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

John Wayne - Duke

I finished the carving yesterday and made the base this morning.  I think he turned out really nice and should make a nice addition to someone's collection.   I made the hat cord out of some twisted wire and then carved the knots at the end.  I made the badge out of a piece of hammered brass, silver-soldered to a post.  I'll letter "Duke" on it once it's painted.  The base is walnut.

There are a few more photos in the Gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Duke


Well, it's been a while but I finally got back to doing something.  My Sister visited over the Memorial Day weekend and  on her way spent some time up in Winterset, Iowa attending the grand opening of the new John Wayne Museum (http://johnwaynebirthplace.museum/).  She brought along a bunch of brochures, etc., that she picked up there and that was enough to get me interested in trying to capture his likeness in wood.

Tuesday morning I spent some time on the net googling photos, drawings and other art work to come up with a working sketch to work from and then roughed out the head while at our local carving gathering.  This morning I finished the head, worked on the hat and pretty well finished up that part of the piece.  I think I will keep it a bust as even that will make a pretty large piece when done.  The head with the hat on measures right at 7".  The hardest part was getting the eyes right and I think once they are painted they should look pretty good.  At least I hope so.  I stuck a smoke in his mouth as he was a heavy smoker as were most cowpokes.  The hat really adds to the character.


There are a couple more photos in the Gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Carving A Native American Bust - Part 21

Carving A Native American Bust - Part 21.THM from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Black Crow - Finished

With this we'll wrap up another video project.  We hope you enjoyed tagging along and also hope you might benefit from some of the techniques that were covered.  I think the piece turned out quite nice and clearly shows the fun you can have in creating a Native American.  There are more photos in the Gallery and will look forward to your comments.

Yellowstone Charlie - Finished

Painted this Mountain Man over the weekend and must say that he really turned out nice.  I thought he looked a little plain just by himself so added the knife and sheath and that really turned him into something else.

There are more photos in the Gallery and I will look forward to your comments.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Yellowstone Charlie

Here's the latest.  Really like the hat. The knife sheath.Will be beaded.  Hope you like him. Only the one photo this time.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Starbucks My Patootie!" - Finished

I finally finished this one this morning and it's been a struggle.  Old age has given me a cataract in my right eye which is the one my vision is centered on.  Doesn't bother me that much for distance viewing but up close it's a real bummer.  Trying to do fine detail, especially painting is extremely hard to get a good focus on the brush and the surface that I'm working on.  Judy and I will be getting our eyes tested shortly so maybe I can find out if it's time to get it taken care of.  Sorry to bore you with my medical problems, something I really hate to do as I've told almost everyone I know that if I ever start beginning my conversations with my health status to just take me out back and shoot me.

Anyway, I really like this piece, especially the face.  Every once once in a while I'll do a piece, as I've mentioned many times before, that really ends up being an example of my best work.  This is one of those.  I'm sure you all experience the same thing the more you carve.  The cup of Joe is made from copper with a soldered wire rim.  I put a wooden plug inside and then topped that off with clear epoxy painted Dark Burnt Umber and then topped that off with another thin application of epoxy which I left clear.  As you can see in the closeup photo in the Gallery it creates a nice effect. The cup is quite large compared to the coffee pot but as that cuppa mud is the theme of the piece that's okay.   I spent a little extra time on my watch chain by adding a fob on the end going into the vest buttonhole.  I put a drop of solder on it to give it a domed look and make it sparkle a bit more.  I think it looks neat.  The more I look at it though the more I think it needs to be painted gold as it doesn't quite match the chain.   Why didn't I do a full body?  Because I think the figure would have been just too big to be displayed in most homes.  I think this bust format displays all the necessary details in an interesting manner.   I will confess that I had hoped to do a much more involved design on the apron but after several attempts it just wouldn't happen.  That vision thing again.

So, I hope you like him as much as I do even if he didn't get that fancy apron.  There are lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Problems, Always Problems

If you've been wondering why we've been so slow uploading new videos it's because our video processing software crapped out on us.  I finally gave up after the fourth try yesterday and, using money from the Tip Jar, ordered the latest version and finally got these last two posted.  Hopefully the problem has been solved.  If all goes as they say it will we will be getting  fiber optic cable service mid-year.  What normally now takes 4-5 hours of uploading time for a 15 minute video should be reduced to about 10 minutes, at least we hope so.

Carving A Native American Bust - Part 17

Carving a Native American Bust - Part 17 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Carving A Native American Bust - Part 16

Carving a Native American Bust - Part 16 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Starbucks My Patootie!

Here's one I just finished this morning.  While I've done one similar to this before this one is much larger..standing almost 18" with the base.  I plan on a real neat apron design which should really make the carving.   Hope you like him.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fuzzy - Finished


I finished this one last week but have been so busy with other things this is the first opportunity I've had to post the photo.  It turned out great.  Really like the way the shirt pattern came out.   With the addition of the nameplate it will be complete.  Hope you like him.  Comments always welcome.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kansas City Show Results

We had a great time at the show.  While the table count for the show was down for the reasons I explained on the "Out West Woodcarving Posse" Facebook page, it was still a success for us.  I managed to take Second Best of Show for my newest piece: "Big Bear"which also took First in the caricature bust category. "Looks Like A Good One" took first in caricature full figure.  "Chicken Catch-a What?" came in second in the full figure group and "A Little Off  the Top" was number two in the bust bunch.    "Looks Like a Good One" sold before the show even started so and a small Native American bust sold in the Purchase Award group on Sunday.

The KC group is in the process of joining up with a local Woodworkers group so things should be looking up for a larger show next year, at least everyone is hoping so.  Would hate to see this one disappear as it's always been good for us.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Big Bear - Finished

Put the paint to this rascal over the weekend and put him all together yesterday and today.  Really turned out nice.  I tried something new with his braids...using some cobblers sewing flax thread, with looks exactly like rawhide, I wrapped his braids after I had carved them and covered them with some texture to simulate fur.  That little detail really sets those braids off and I will certainly do more of it in the future.  As I mentioned earlier the earrings were made from some aluminum wire and two hammered brass disks which I left natural.

Now if the name plate shows up before we leave for Kansas City and this weekends show I'll really be happy.  Hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.

Rise & Shine....A Musical Interlude

Rise & Shine Musical Video from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Now That's A Mule!

My good friend Jim Quilici, out in California, sent me a photo of his latest piece, one he did for a relative.  It portrays a Great Uncle who used to be a lawman out in Murphys, CA who rode around on his mule provoking gunfights.   I really think it's great when a piece of ones work can tell a story.

I just can't be over that Mule.  I don't know what he's up to but from the look on the face of the fella standing next to him you can bet it wouldn't be a good idea to walk behind him.

A great job Jim!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Big Bear

I hoping to get this one done before the Kansas City show.  It's all finished now except for the painting.  That bear claw necklace is a real snappy detail which will look great once it's painted.  I plan on threading some beads between the claws but will have to wait until it's almost completely done to do that as I carved the claws separately and will insert them once everything is painted.  I gave him some hammered brass earrings which I will leave natural with just a coat of varnish so they won't tarnish over time.

No more photos in the Gallery yet but will be once he hits the photo studio when finished.   Hope you like him so far.

Being an equal opportunity carver I'm going to have to switch over to Cowboys as those Redskins (can I say that?) are taking over the shop and gallery.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Carving a Native American Bust

It has been a while since we did a new video project so here's one that might fill the void for a while.  Hope you can follow along to see where we end up!
Carving a Native American Bust - Part 1 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Red Hawk

I had hoped to complete this piece before heading off to the Charlotte, North Carolina Woodcarving show that's taking place this weekend but as the weather put an end to that it can make it's debut here.

I've done a few similar busts of Native Americans similar to this one but this time I tried a different style of base to elevate it to a higher level and make it a little more impressive......at least I think it does.  The base is walnut.  I had thought about attaching some scalp locks to the shoulders but after trying out a couple decided against it.  With all the decoration it already has that addition might have just be a little too much.  I really like the shield, a design I came across while researching war gear.  I modified it some to keep it from being a direct copy.  There are a lot of different colors in the shields painting but you have to look at it close to see them...blues, blacks, reds, yellows, all blended to make it interesting.  It's anchored to the base and the figure by metal studs. The tip of the spear is made from hammered copper and anchored in place with some flax material used for leather binding that looks just like rawhide.

So, I hope you like Red Hawk.  It's a nice piece that should move off the reservation fairly quick....at least I hope it does.

More photos in the Gallery and I look forward to your comments as always.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Buffalo Skulls

Over the past couple of days I've been working on a larger Buffalo skull to go along with the figure I'm doing.  While using reference photos from the net I finally gave into bringing over the skull I have mounted in the Gallery to work from.  Nothing beats the actual article as a go-by.  ("Go-by"....I hate that word.  Why can't we just say "reference"?  It sounds much more intelligent and professional! )  Anyway, to show the difference from using mostly photos as a reference over the actual article take a close look at the two skulls. .  Notice the placement of the horns and the curvature of the facial plates. Quite a difference.  I still have to make a correction after mounting the horns as while correct in themselves they are just to massive to match the skull.  That should be an easy fix.  Once this is done I should have a fairly correct copy to go along with the figure.  Even though the complete result might be a caricature, the details associated with the figure will make it that much more authentic. and carry the theme I'm trying to express.

So, if I could give anyone some advice it would be to stop and take a moment to find out as much about what you're trying to accomplish as you can.  For myself, I'm always on the lookout for more "reference" matter no matter where I am.  Today, almost all of us have the ability to whip out our cellphones and snap a photo. When in a museum the first question I ask is can I take photos.  If that's not allowed I have a small sketch pad handy to record something of interest.  Unfortunately, too many of us casually "go-by" so many things that could have a direct and positive affect on what we're trying to accomplish.   (There's that word again!  I hereby banish it from this blog!)




Sunday, January 25, 2015

Abdul The Terrorist

Put the final touches to this reprobate yesterday.  Took a few liberties by adding some real hair (horse hair actually!) which really brings him to life.  I also repainted his upraised arm and sword to make the piece a little more acceptable if that's possible.  I left a little on his outer tunic to show just how bad he really is.  The AK47 turned out real nice and I added a leather strap otherwise it would look strange as nothing would be holding it to his body.   The list of things he doesn't approve of is made from aluminum flashing.  I burnished the surface, sprayed it with acid etching primer and then white before fan-folding it prior to lettering on the words.  I nailed it down under his foot and epoxied it to his hand after a bit of antiquing.

In adding the hair I had carved the hat indentation deeper than normal so it would bend down the hair when pressed in place.  That worked out pretty good.  For the mustache I cut a  length of hair and glued it in place by forcing it up into a hole I drilled directly under his nose.  This also bent the hair down on each side which looks nice.  I really like the idea of mixing materials as you can only achieve so much with wood.  It also just adds that extra something that brings him to life.

This was a fun piece to do and am sure it will be a hit when displayed.  Hopefully it will show others that it's good to push the envelope to try new techniques and maybe be a little controversial occasionally even if it might cause offence to some.  Life on this planet consists of many things both good and bad and there is no reason we shouldn't confront them in any way we can.

So, I hope you like him as much as I do and I'll look forward to your comments.

Oh.....almost forgot!  Once I receive the photos of the others who took up the challenge I'll post them here.

Pepe Gets Some Color

Painted this one yesterday.  Not that much to say about him other than I spent a little extra time on his hat.  I like the colors and hope you do too.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Abdul The Terrorist

This carving is my contribution to a challenge I issued over on the Out West Possee Face Book page.  With only a week to go I still have a few things that need to be done to wrap things up but he's well on his way to the finish line.

I carved the AK47 that will be attached to his back yesterday at our little carving group and today will make a new base and the sign he'll be holding.  The base he's on right now is just a spare I had on hand.  Someone mentioned that he looked pretty fragile...believe me he's not.  The upraised arm is attached with the shaft of a 4p galvinized nail. Also each leg has a metal rod iserted through up into the body.

Hope you like him so far and your comments are always welcome.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Here's A New Challenge!

Okay..... I'll probably be sued for copyright infringement but what the hell!  I saw this cartoon over the weekend and thought "Wow!  That would make a great carving!"  So I thought again ( I do think sometimes, but not as much as I used to!) why not make it a Blog challenge and invite others to join in?

So here it is.....You can interpret this cartoon in any way you want, i.e., change the pose, do a bottle stopper, a bust, or full figure.  The size is up to you. No problem with adding or removing items as long as the central part of the figure, head and body, remain the same.  While this cartoon is tied to the recent horrible events in Paris, France you can relate it to any other statement you'd prefer but you must tie it to something and also come up with a humorous title. Also, it has to be a figure in the round, not a raised panel carving.

Let's set a time limit of 2 weeks to complete your piece.  So next Monday send me your photo(s) and I'll post them and we'll all vote for the one we think best.  For myself I will not participate in the challenge but will carve my own figure.  The winner will be awarded a Hearty Handshake, Pat on the Back, enduring Fame and a seat next to me should I get dragged into court.

So, what do you think?  Are you up for it?

Friday, January 09, 2015

Beans for Breakfast

Finally wrapped this one up this morning so now he can chow down on those beans!.  I really like the way the jacket painting turned out.  To me it looks exactly like a worn denim jacket.  I originally had planned on having just the figure with his plate of blasters, biscuits and coffee but, although I had the base all made, painted and ready to mount it just didn't look right.  So......with a bow to the David Lemon bronze "Morning Joe" that we own I added the details directly behind the figure.  This creates a nice composition and also adds to the figures story.

The coffee pot is wood with a metal handle.  The skillet is also wood, filled with peppercorns embeded in epoxy and painted. The can is made from tin roof flashing with a soldered wire rim and lid made to look like it was cut open with a knife.  The label is just painted paper.  I left a few beans and sauce inside the can to run out and over the base.  I think doing this adds a little more life and humor to the piece.

With the base, the piece stands about 20" tall so it makes a nice presentation  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcomed.