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Archive for February, 2014

UPDATE: The weather has clearly not cooperated. The show is rescheduled for next Sunday, the 16th of February.

As I sit here typing and frequently glancing out the window to watch the snow blowing around, I am also getting ready do head back down stairs to put a final coat of linseed oil on the next three whale sculptures, and its happening none too soon! On Sunday( weather permitting), Boy’s Fort will be having an open house to kick off a month of featuring my whales (along with the work of one other artist)!

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I’m pretty excited about to be sharing them, as they represent the most ambitious artistic venture I have yet undertaken. By my estimate, I’ve put somewhere in the vicinity of 400 hours into building them, and I think I’m justifiably proud of them. They might not be what folks might call “high art” or something like that, but I don’t really care. I think there is a subtlety of line present in them which is striking. I like the honesty represented by a building process which has hidden nothing: There is no glue or metal included in any of them, but you can see every place where pieces are notched together, you can see where the pegs are, and you can examine every lashing. I like how movement is suggested by the curves in the different pieces, and how the shape is suggested by the framework.

I also enjoy seeing how much joy people of such disparate ages get from seeing them. When I was showing the first one to some former teachers of mine, I had middle school age students walk up to me and just stare at them for a minute before asking “did you make that?”

I suppose its been my hope for a long time to inspire people in a wide variety of ways. At different times I have hoped that someone might be inspired by some sort of endurance challenge I have undertaken, or perhaps to appreciate the natural environment in a new or different way through stories I have told or pictures I have shared. I’m not sure how the whales will inspire people. Some folks might be intrigued by the woodworking side of things and be fascinated with how it was crafted. Some people may appreciate the idea that a whale, which has such a symbolic status within the environmental movement, has been made out of materials which are either reclaimed, or which are sourced from a family owned and sustainably operated forestry project. I think that some folks might just appreciate the grace of the lines and simply enjoy the beauty. Regardless, I think there are a lot of ways that people for people to enjoy them, and I look forward to seeing the response they get on Sunday.

And now for the details, for those who happen to live nearby! Boy’s Fort is located at SW 9th and Morrison in downtown Portland. The open house will go from noon till 5pm. I hear there will be refreshments. If you live nearby, please wander in and say hello!

Pictures of the last few nearing completion:

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