Sheep Icon 23 was an experiment for me in that I left a natural pine background in part of the piece. I am wondering whether people like this and am always appreciative for your comments, either here at this blog or at Facebook.
I finished the carved painting a few months ago but I kept looking at it, bothered. The natural wood background of the piece seemed a little too plain. I wondered if it still needed something else. Once I added a few salvaged upholstery tacks - voila! it felt complete.
Above, the final (for now) version of Sheep Icon #23. $450.00. 10.75" x 13" x 2"
Please feel free to make an appointment to visit my studio in this gift giving time of the year! Buy using an individualized installment plan! Winter is when I take orders for commissions!
If you are in the area, check out the SOFA 20 Chicago Show, October 31st to November 3rd, 2013. Duff Linday of the Lindsay Gallery will have a booth with my work and that of a number of other artists, including Bill Miller, Harry Underwood and Joey Monsoon. The Lindsay Gallery specializes in self taught, outsider and folk art. Thanks for taking my work to this show Duff!
Since I've been gone from this blog for so long, I thought I might show you what I've been up to. Here's one of the smaller carved wooden folk art pieces I've been working on this summer. This one, obviously, is called "Home Sweet Home", size 11" x 7.75" x 2", price $425.00. I like the way this one feels in my hand, compact but solid.
Before I start to paint I look at the piece and imagine the FEELING she will have when done. Basically by this point she has a life of her own, and I’m only trying to capture it. This one is a really warm and welcoming gal, a sister to the waitress who welcomes you to my website.
Once having gotten the FEELING of this gal, I grab my most ratty paint brushes and set out on the first coat of paint. I paint the whole piece one color at first, usually something warm or neutral. This first coat of paint acts both to seal the wood and also to unify the piece.
In order to seal the wood, I literally have to scrub or force the paint into all of the exposed carved edges. The point is to seal her against moisture getting in, especially into the end grain of the wood which, unsealed, would act like an open straw to suck in moisture from the air. I push, scrub and force the paint in. So that’s why I use my ratty brushes first.
Once the piece is all painted one color the shapes are easier for me to see and paint. Another benefit of one base color is that later, when I paint other colors on top, some of the first layer of paint will remain and glow out behind the top colors, unifying the piece.
The base is on, here she is, looking serene on my workbench, holding her plate of fried eggs. Her eyeballs haven't been carved on yet, and that bothers me, looking at her. But other than that, and a little bit of cleaning up around her edges, she's just waiting to get her dressing up of paint. I like the way the cups and saucers, forks and spoons, surround her, support her and direct you to her. She fits right in my my sisterhood of other waitresses carved in wood.
I'm just itching to get back to my folk art studio. It's a busy time of the year - tonight I was watering my garden, planting a pear tree, seeing a cat bird making its mews ten feet away, picnicking for dinner out by Cayuga Lake. It all takes me out of my studio but then on the other hand I love my garden as well.
As far as the artwork goes, I'm in the middle of a number of pieces all in different stages of being done, the farm piece that I talked about in earlier blogs, and several little pieces of sheep. Here's a sheep carving that I just sold through a show at the Duff Lindsay Gallery.
This one was an experiment. The part of it that's behind the sheep is shellacked natural wood. The rest of the piece is painted with acrylic paints. I used butternut for this one, different in that I usually use white pine. I thought, if I was going to leave the finish natural, that butternut was a prettier wood than white pine.