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Posts Tagged ‘folkart’

 

At Union Falls, New York, a large pond (of the same name) spills over a dam and tumbles over the rocks and ledges to make a fast and wild plunge to Lake Champlain. This stretch of river is no match for my skills or for my wood and canvas canoe. It’s here that I elected to strap the wheels to the boat and hunker down for a long portage.

 

 From a small park the road drops down to cross the river adjacent to the ancient dam and powerhouse. The iron bridge, was enveloped in spray from the dam and waterfalls. Turning right onto the Casey Road I found myself plunged into another time and place. 

This was the time and place I sought. This was rural Maine — the rural Maine of my childhood.

Here the forest is a mix of beech, maple, birch, pine and spruce. The narrow lane, paved in macadam, was lined in ancient loose stone walls. In the margins of the road–where sunlight filtered through the overhanging trees–wild flowers grew. These were the same windflowers my sister and I would gather on those ancient Maine roads many years ago. I expected to see a familiar fox or pheasant dart across the road ahead if me.

 

 My pleasant walk was interrupted. Not by a fox or a pheasant, but by something completely alien to me.

I was attacked by a deranged two-legged raccoon. That was my first thought as a chattering brown and black striped animal exploded from the underbrush.

Before I had time to gather my thoughts into something rational, the animal slowed and assumed a posture that I had often studied in my field guides. I was under attack by a ruffed grouse. 

For the next five minutes the bird moved about me and the boat, posturing and blustering. 

I realized his bird was protecting a nest or offspring, so I moved along. When I last saw him, he was sitting on a shoulder high branch sending me along my way.

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Yesterday I spent time in the shop putting finishing touches on these two birds.  These are perks that will be sent to folks that are supporting my upcoming Northern Forest Canoe Trail trip through my Indiegogo campaign.  Many thanks to all that have helped.  These two are going to Gordie Felt, Remsen, NY and to James Kelly of Indianapolis.

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Yesterday I delivered a wisdom of owls and a few others to be included in the offerings of Jerry Points’ gallery Eye on Art in the Carmel Arts and Design District.  I am thrilled to have my work associated with this gallery and collection.

Eye on Art

111 W Main St #150

Carmel, Indiana 46032

(317) 752-1722

 

 

 

 

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These are available to purchase. Simply click the Etsy banner to the right. You can get a 25% discount with the coupon code SHOPHANDMADE.

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You are reading an installment of a Field Guide to (50 Little) Birds. Everything that goes into a bird or whale is intentional and deliberate. This guide is intended to allow folks to understand my work at a deeper and more meaningful level.

The guide is decided into four sections.

The Back Story will explore inspirations, motivation and philosophy.

Before I Begin will contain discussion on research and design.

The Stuff They’re Made Of will look into the materials I use and how they are chosen and procured.

A Distressing End will look at my finish techniques.

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This entry was prematurely published. Check back later for completed work.

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Sperm Whale Photos

Photos of 12″ Sperm Whale. I’ve another on the bench as well as a similar but much larger (24″) one.

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I have the same dream that many artists have–to quite the day job and spend my time making stuff people want to buy.

There is no question that there are enough people out there to consume any product. If Chia Pets or the work of Thomas Kincaid can make it so can 50 Little Birds. I’ve never questioned this. The problem is getting the word out to the right people at the right time in the right way.

A couple of years ago I discovered Alyson Stanfield. Alyson, among her many talents, consults artists in order to enable them to reach their markets effectively. I’ve wanted to take her online classes, but never seem to have an extra $100 when here classes are listed.

So I did the next best thing and bought the books.

First I bought The Relatively Pain Free Artists Statement. This book outlines three weeks of writing activities that will lead me to writing a powerful, concise and effective artists’ statement. Most artisist have to write a statement, from time to time, and it’s hard to do well. Most of the time something is dashed off and the job is done–often poorly.

The second book I’d Rather be in the Studio is a practical approach–consisting of a lot of reflection and writing — to beefing up communications and PR and sales so that enough work is generated to allow an artist to spend time in the studio creating.

Both books are excellent. Like any self-help book my success lies in my own self-discipline and willingness to really do the work.

Today, in her blog, Alyson suggested something that I already saw emerging from completing the activities in her books. It seemed obvious– after all I’ve spent nearly every day for thirty years in a classroom. I need to teach people how to look at and how to appreciate my art.

Last night I had a conversation with two art loving friends (an activity I had to complete for the Relatively Pain-Free Artists Statement) and this need was apparent. These ladies both have my work in their collections, but as we talked and they learned more about why I do things the way that I do they were clearly developing a clearer appreciation for what I do to create a piece.

Every procedure, every color choice, every material and every found object is deliberate. There is thought, design, method and madness in everything that goes into my work. Over the next week, or two, I will visit some of these aspects of 50 Little Birds and the madness behind them. It is my hope, that with a few field marks in mind you will be able to examine my work a different way.

Stay tuned.

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