member of the American Association of Woodturners
member of AOE, the Arts Council of East Ottawa
past President of the National Capital Network of Sculptors
member of the Ottawa Friendship Force
I usually dress less formally in my studio where I enjoy the sensual delights of working with wood. Under a skylight, and beside a picture window, I like to watch the snowflakes fall while I fashion my varied creations. I spent 35 years at the Canadian National Research Council,in my first career as a research technologist; now, well into my second career as a wood sculptor, I find that I have an absolute passion for wood. Its variety, warmth and beauty are unequalled. Man is often in conflict with nature, but when we collaborate wonderful things can be achieved.
I graduated from Ryerson in 1959 and accepted a job in Ottawa where I have lived for the last 57 years. As a metrologist, I studied radioactivity and developed methods and equipment for its measurement. I have devoted 25 years to wood art and have develped the technical skills and tools to produce this unique work.
email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wood as a Medium for Art
Art is about life, and visual arts, whether landscape or figurative or abstract, are about life. Wood art has an added feature; it is made from a lifeform. The artist's medium is a living thing. Wood sculpture is an artist's interpretation of life, but it is also a tribute to the tree and its former life.
Trees are ubiquitous. They provide protection and material for much of our modern life but, more than all that, trees are silent witnesses to the events that occur around them. They live for fifty to one hundred years or more and keep a record of all that happens. They are books with a history of their times. Stories hidden deep in the body of the tree are revealed to the artist and have a powerful influence on the art that is produced.
I like to think of my role as a collaboration with a greater artist, namely Mother Nature. In this collaboration, I try to combine the beauty that is inherent in the wood with my own artistic statement. I tell the tree's story along with my own and, hopefully, give a second life to the tree.
This is all summed up in the title Samsara that I gave to one of my exhibitions. Samsara in sanskrit refers to the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. With wood sculpture, a passion grips the artist in a final dance with the tree as it is reborn. Often, memories of its former life are evident, and add excitement to the new form.