My artworks begin with fallen aspen branches. I make at least one trip annually to the mountains of the southwestern United States to gather the aspen that I'll use over the course of the year. My visits to the forest are like a pilgrimage. Every time I return I'm inspired by the strength and the delicacy of the natural world.
After the aspen is collected it's dried in a room on my studio roof. Once dry, I cut and shape the rough branches with a band saw. Next I make a puzzle of all the odd parts. I spread them out on the floor, stack them up on a table and move them around until everything fits. The pieces are carved in small components that are joined together with pegs and nails. The surface is painted with acrylic, metal leaf and wax.
I combine my carvings with found objects. The carving style is simple, inspired by iconic images found in folk, tribal and primitive art. The themes I use are personal yet universal. My love of the natural world and my concern for the environment translate into works about the intricate relationship between man and nature. I layer my personal experiences into each piece adding my voice to the collective stories found in the materials, the poems of the feathers, flowers, bones and rust, the secrets of the slow growing trees. It's a communal story about life, here on earth.
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