Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Cheering Section

Drawings can only get you so far.

So I made a clay model for this carving, a quick gestural study, to help me understand the forms. I also brought out several carvings for reference. I'd look at them individually but it wasn't until this afternoon when I turned and saw them all together in the light that their other function dawned on me.

They're my cheerleaders.

I started collecting wood carvings about the same time I began carving. I needed encouragement (a lot!) in this difficult art. Some of the sculptures are folk art, many are religious images, a few commercial. I've bought them wherever I've been able to find and afford them, from Asian restaurants to galleries and from other collectors.

My collection of wood carvings is a dimensional reference library of answers and questions, a lineage of ideas, stories and work that continues to inspire me to tell stories in wood.

(From the left, small guilt Buddha is Japanese, on the stand is a Chinese votive deity, behind it is a polychromed Quan Yin.)