I have attended some art classes many years ago, but am mostly self-taught, but also self-educated in art history, specifically modern art. Early in my life the selection of materials I used was always based on costs, as I remained basically broke for the majority of my life. I worked in copper wire and clay and plaster for many years. In the past eight to ten years I have been working in wood, but often break away and do something totally different, like submit a scale model for a 50ft aluminum tubing and canvas hanging sculpture for a sports arena. I didn’t get the contract. I have a day job as a Research Associate for a local college, working with students and faculty, assisting them in their electronic design and construction projects and instrumentation. I’ve found my skills as an engineer helpful when constructing large sculptures.
Wood is my medium of choice and I have developed a technique of stacking and laminating plywood to create large abstracts and often surrealistic pieces, taking advantage of the swirling layers in the plywood. Recently I have been working with OSB plywood (no layers) which has many advantages to standard plywood. It is cheap, (less than a third the price) easy to work, strong when glued, and has a finish patina that directs the viewer’s eye away from any flaws on the surface of the piece, guiding the viewer to observe the “overall” piece, meaning the form and shape. The patina is strikingly warm and earthy, showing a speckling of wood tones along with occasional steaks of grain.
Wood is only one medium. I will sculpt using anything. Any material can create pleasing or challenging forms to the eye. Give me a stack of trash can lids and I will create something at least interesting, if not odorous. Everything isn’t beautiful and doesn’t have to be, in my mind, but it has to be true and original from the mind of the artist. The full experience from creation to showing requires a viewer’s participation, experienced or inexperienced in the arts. I give my work all I have and seek the viewer.