Showing posts with the label Reflections

Quartz Article: Drawing Is The Best Way To Learn

I read an article titled " Drawing Is the Best Way to Learn, Even If You’re No Leonardo Da Vinci ." Design historian D.B. Dowd makes the claim that “We have misfiled the significance of drawing because we see it as a professional skill instead of a personal capacity.” People are so often afraid to draw because they feel that the end result will not meet some artistic standard. Most drawing is not intended to end up framed. It does not need to be intimidating. Some drawing is simply for communication. Some drawing is, as Dowd asserts, for learning. Taking the time to look at something and trying to draw it allows you to understand it better. Even attempting to draw something from your imagination causes you to reflect more deeply. Spending time to think, reflect, and learn makes drawing well worth the while, even if you are not "creating art." Please read the article and let me know what you think. Thank you!

Psychology Today: Creativity, Happiness and Your Own Two Hands

" Creativity, Happiness and Your Own Two Hands " is an article on the Psychology Today site that discusses how purposeful hand use enhances well-being in a technologically saturated culture. It reminded me of this carving by Travis Bryant. Hopefully you are experiencing the benefits of making things with your hands. If you would like to learn about wood carving, please let me know.

Design for Corporal Works of Mercy Relief

A few months ago, I was asked to design and carve a relief that represents the corporal works of mercy in the context of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. The traditional corporal works of mercy are feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead. This list finds its roots in Matthew 25:34-46. The idea here was to surround the image of Christ on the cross with images of each corporal work of mercy as it might relate to the Passion narrative. The bread for "feed the hungry" and the cup for "give drink to the thirsty" bring to mind the Lord's Supper. The seamless garment and sandals for "clothe the naked" are those that were stripped from Jesus during his crucifixion. The house depicted for "shelter the homeless" is based on images of the house in Ephesus that tradition claims is the house that John took Mary to live in after Jesus's de

In Memory of Ludwig Kieninger

Ludwig Kieninger passed away earlier this month. I spent may years studying woodcarving with Ludwig Kieninger. Many of my current students previously studied with him as well. He was a talented and fascinating man and all who knew him will miss him. In addition to some of the photos of Ludwig Kienger  and his work on my web site,  in loving memory, I wanted to post some additional photos that I have gathered over the years. From the Bavarian Woodcarving Studio in DeSoto, TX A young, dapper Ludwig Kieninger I have no idea how Danny convinced him to wear that hat. At Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, TX 

1912 Woodcarving Video

Doug Oliver  from sent me a link to this French woodcarving film from 1912. That is over 100 years ago and many of the same tools and techniques are still in use today. I do not, however, endorse using the palm of the hand as a mallet. Have a look. Enjoy some history and let me know what you think.

Whittling in the Woods

I took this photo as I was carving a wood spirit with my  Carvin' Jack  while sitting in the beautiful woods of East Texas. I was enjoying perfect weather and a wonderfully scenic setting. Does it get any better than this?

Why Do You Carve? Part 3: The Creative Process

This is a continuation of my "Why Do You Carve?" posts. If you have not read " Part 1: Relaxation " or " Part 2: Fellowship ", you can do that now. I'll wait. For many carvers there is a distinct thrill in creating something new from a piece of wood. This is especially true for those who begin with an image in their mind and follow that idea through to a completed original carving. Even those who follow a pattern created by someone else, experience the excitement of seeing a new creation, made by their own hands, emerge from the wood. One of my favorite parts of the process is developing and refining an idea through a series of sketches. I also enjoy seeing the piece develop as I go. Sometimes it takes turns that I did not anticipate, but in the end, it is something new and something good. Do you enjoy the creative process all through your work, or is it a special thrill when the work is completed? What is the most rewarding part of the creative

In Memory of Paul Kern Baker

I would like to write a brief memorial post for wood carver and friend Paul Kern Baker who passed away May 15th 2010. Paul really enjoyed his time carving. I know that we enjoyed his enthusiasm, generosity, humor and joy of life. Paul was working energetically on a three foot tall statue of Thomas Jefferson. Paul was also a talented musician. Here he is entertaining our carving class by playing a guitar that was hand carved by Frank Byrd. We will miss him. We are all better for having enjoyed the friendship of Paul Kern Baker and I am thankful for a merciful and loving God. Eternal rest grant unto the faithfully departed.

Why Do You Carve, Part 2: Fellowship

A little while ago I posted " Why Do You Carve? Part 1 - Relaxation ".  (you remember this, right?) I think it's time for another reason: Fellowship.  Woodcarvers carve as a way to enjoy the company of other people.  If people have a mental image of woodcarving it is often the old man sitting whittling on his front porch. But that's not really what most carvers are doing.  Initially, we may carve with other people because we need someone else to teach us what to do, which tools to use and how to use them. But carvers continue to carve together because they enjoy each other's company.  In addition to structured classes, many carving clubs get together and work on whatever they please. In either of these cases, you can get feedback, or see a technique you'd like to try.  But often you just enjoy the company.  By far the majority of carvers I have met are friendly and positive in their feedback. They are people you look forward to being around. When we carve toge

Quotes from Today's Readings to Consider

Two excerpts from what I read this morning struck me as applicable to the world of art: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge." (from Psalm 19) and... "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made." (Romans 1:20) This is just something to think about.

Why Do You Carve? Part 1 - Relaxation

I wanted to think a little about why people carve wood. One of the reasons I often hear is to relax. It seems to provide a good way to get away from it all. For a little while, one can leave behind the troubles of the world and focus on something creative and rewarding. Carving, like many other crafts or artistic endeavors, requires a certain level of concentration. In order to be safe, you need to be aware of your tools as well as what and how you are cutting. I think this helps to block out those all consuming anxieties and allows one to focus on the process - to live in the moment. So much of our lives seem to be spent regretting the past or worrying about the future that we lose sight of where we are right now. The sense of relaxation is also aided by the contemplative aspect of carving. In this hectic life, we are either rushing to complete tasks or we stop to let the TV do our thinking for us. Carving requires us to think about what we are doing. We must be actively involved. At

Anthony Visco

I just finished looking at the artwork and reading the essays on Anthony Visco's website at . His work is quite impressive and I think his essays could be the starting point for some interesting discussions.

Robert F. McGovern

Robert McGovern is an Emeritus Professor, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA. He is a talented painter, print maker and sculptor. He has done extensive commission works throughout the United States as well as illustrating many books. I fund this artist's bio which has some images of his woodcarvings. Some more of his work can be seen at this exhibition page . I also read that he lectures on the concerns surrounding religious art in our times (which I feel is a very important subject for discussion.)