Sunday, September 8, 2013

I am not a bird carver, but...

A gift for Page!
  I will be the first to admit that I know nothing of carving birds, however this would be my third.  The first was when I was first learning about carving and I decided to carve a Rick Butz merganser for my parents...I created that one in cherry.
  The second was my original piece "The elusive Baltimore Oreo" which was driven by the fact that I wanted to show my club members (95% bird carvers) that I could if I REALLY wanted to.
  The latest, the flamingo to the left, is driven by a promise to a friend and one who wholly supports our art.  Many years ago I embarked on a great friendship with a gentlemen from the great state of North Carolina, we had very similar desires, a good sense of humor, and the need to do something different.  I would learn overtime the generosity not only of himself but of his supportive wife, Miss Page.  Over the years I have attended a number of events in the state of North Carolina and it would always seem that Mitch and Page were at the heart of supporting these events.Now I must say that Miss Page goes well above and beyond being supportive all while maintaining her sense of humor dashed with a bit of sarcasm (something I really enjoy).
  It was at one of the aforementioned events that Miss Page informed me that I owed her a carving,  no doubt I did so I inquired as to what she would like me to carve...the answer was that she liked birds, especially flamingos.  Well, it was decided then...a flamingo it would be.
  Now the only thing I new of flamingos is that they get their color from the generous amounts of shrimp they eat.  Not knowing where to begin, the "carvers paralysis" set in.  If you have experienced this you know that it is when you know you want to carve an item however you can't decide where to begin but there are way to many questions. 
  In this case I did what I could knowing that this does not pay the debt but rather just satisfy the bird requirement.  One interesting note when researching the flamingo...they are mostly shades of pink/orange almost everywhere. In finishing the piece I took this into account and gave the piece depth through multiple tonal values. 
  This carving while simple was still somewhat challenging,  a learning experience for sure.

  It's another day, don't wait...carve something!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Caricature - A real likeness

Chris Rock by A. Filetti
It's always good to have goals and one of the goals I have is to be able to create a Caricature likeness of a real person rather than carving generic folk all the time.  To be clear, carving generic folk and taking what the wood gives me is truly acceptable, this is more about expanding my talents to be able to generate a true likeness.

In studying caricature I put a lot of stock into Tom Richmond's writings, as they are well written and enable caricature abilities.  One of his key stated observations is that a good caricature can be judged by whether or not the likeness truly equates to the subject (the carving/drawing truly looks like the individual). 

As part of my studies I read other blogs, many by other graphic artists and animators.  Some of these folk publish great sketch books, one of which is Jioe Bluhm's Sketch Infectus.  This is where I found a basic drawing on which I could base the carving upon.  Utilizing the drawing and focusing on the parts rather than the whole I was able to create this latest attempt at a carving a caricature of a real person.  My hope is to next generate the Caricature drawing from which I will be able to generate a carving. 

Being critical of my work there are a couple of areas I would do differently to have a greater impact,  I believe the representation would have been better with a smaller nose a larger teeth.  I do believe this carving is close and for those who are aware of the comedian will be able to decipher the likeness.  In carving Chris I did notice that he bears a similarity to both the Prez and also to Eddie Murphy and the they truly only differ in some minor ways.

All-in-all this was a good way to stretch my skills and I hope to improve with each. 

Strop 'em up and get carving my friend!