The challenge of sculpting animals is what motivates me. I’ve always been fascinated by animals. I enjoy studying them, and learning how to re-create them. I strive for something akin to anatomical accuracy, but allow distortions, positions or situations that are unnatural.
My newest body of work is a result of my continued use of animals as my subject matter seen through the fresh lens of woodcarving. Six years ago, I was attracted to wood as a medium because it is something that was grown instead of something that was manufactured; and have since been surprised at many facets the material has to offer. Through this new medium, I’ve been focusing on ‘animal portraiture’ using facial expressions that are subtle, quiet, and within the natural range of their anatomy; but allude to emotions more often associated with humans.
These sculptures start with wood which I’ve laminated together, or salvaged from felled trees. Working from a small clay model, I hand chisel each portrait, giving the face a high level of detail; while letting the rest of the form flow to the boundaries of the wood. During the carving and painting process, as I move further from the face, I chose to leave evidence of the piece of wood I’m carving: Anomalies of the laminating process, wood grain, pencil marks, rough cuts from a chainsaw, or protruding remnants of bark and branches. These sculptures sit on bases that I’ve created from a mixture of rough salvaged boards and other scraps of wood I find laying around. I use painstaking traditional mortise and tenon joints to fasten together wood that was previously destined for the trash.
Along with Relief sculptures and smaller studies I’ve created along the way; I hope to share an interest in the exploration of animals, nature, and emotion that keeps me at work in the studio.
Where to see it
My Artwork is currently on display at Timo Gallery:
207 E Buffalo St # 110, Milwaukee, WI 53202