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Progress on “Oak”

I’m making up the process as I go. Using photo reference transferred with graphite paper, I set in the deep crevices. Bark is rough, so I have to avoid the temptation to smooth things out. Next I textured the surface with a small u shaped gouge. Now I will come in and create intermediate sized crevices and clean up the two vines. That will be as far as I can go with carving. After that will be painting.

Continue reading “Progress on “Oak””

The life of a seed

I’ve been invited to participate in a show for Lent and Easter with the title, “The Life of a Seed”. Part one is an acorn in relief. Part two is a segment of an oak tree. This is before and after. Acorn will hang during Lent at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison. The show will be rehung at Easter with the before and after pieces together.

The oak tree is a close up of a tree at the Farley Center.

Acorn
Photo reference
Beginning of carving

I’ll post progress.

Continue reading “The life of a seed”

Earth Dance 2019

My participation in the Earth Dance 2019 environmental art show is to continue to work on the Farley Tree Project.

small3The tree is a 10 foot trunk of a fallen oak tree.  After some planning, we settled on using carved vines to divide the tree surface into distinct panels that artists can use to create pieces that fit the title: Rooted in the Land.

Outdoor art is a challenge on several levels.  The weather limits when work can be done.  Even so, after stripping off the mark and making a grid on the trunk, I was able to transfer the vine drawing onto the trunk. Then began the work of carving in the vines.  This process is about half way done. I plan to have all the vines finished and painted by the onset of winter.

birdsOn testing the tree for the quality of the wood, I discovered that one of the areas is relatively soft.  This lead to idea of attaching woodpeckers at that level.  I chose Red Headed woodpeckers for two reasons. They are native to Wisconsin and tend to like to roost in the standing trunks of dead trees.  The other reason is that these birds are declining in their population. This is thought to result from the smaller number of available dead trees left standing on private property.  The other reason is that these birds will sometimes chase after insects right into traffic.

staiining

Woodcarving often uses products that are not environmental.  So I created a stain for the red heads using beets and beet greens.  The black color is from soaking steel wool in vinegar.

I am working on developing a good green color, but that has not as yet been successful.  I have collected some walnuts and want to create a brown stain from those.

 

 

vines1

The tree itself is sealed for now with a coating of linseed oil.  It will be interesting to see how the colors weather.

 

There are plenty of panels available if you would like to participate in the project.  Here is a link to the simple application. Artists Proposal