I've been working on quite a bit of artwork attempting to amass enough new stuff to do an art show this summer. I wanted to do a variety of pieces using different mediums (sketches, paintings, 3D paper art, found art, etc).
For the last month or so I have had a urge to work with wood. I kept telling myself that my grandmother who passed away last November was nagging me. She was a fantastically skilled woodcarver and artist.
Whether it was her prompting or not, I think out of sheer laziness or disregard I put it out of my mind for quite a while. I've only ever technically "carved" was pinewood derby cars in boy scouts and a plaster sculpture I did in college (neither too impressive).
A week or two ago I was at work with idle hands and had burned myself out on paper projects. Once again I was staring down at a few pencils a coworker had donated to me and I got that absurd desire to carve them up. I had an exacto knife from cutting cardboard sitting there and without too much thought I started whittling away at one of the pencils. I was amazed at how satisfying it was to just sit there cutting away. before long there were shavings all over my desk and by the end of the day I'd carved my no.2 into a neat little tiki totem pole thing!
I realized I wasn't half-bad at carving and it is terribly addictive. Ever since that day I've been carving one thing or another. I carved some more pencils at first, kid's wooden blocks, crayons (broke to easily), and some wood scraps that belonged to my grandma. I painted a bunch and figure maybe I'll think about selling some if I ever get around to that art show. Here's some photos of some of the stuff I carved (sorry about the poor quality. It doesn't do them justice).
I carved a car into this pencil.
Some of the alphabet blocks I carved. An excellent lesson in wood grain.
It's difficult with these photos to see the depth in these blocks. In the mouths and eyes, and with the creature peering from the box I carved up to 3/4" deep into the blocks with limited tools. I've been using exacto knives, the pointed end of a compass, toothpicks, and a potato peeler! Eventually I'll probably have to get some decent tools.
I've been carving mini figures in the style of Fisher Price "little people". The one on the left I had just began to make a kitten. The one on the right is my attempt at a Garbage Pail Kid (getting it's first coat of paint.
The last few were carved from wood that my grandmother had saved. After I began I realized why she had saved these scraps, even though they were small the quality of the wood was many times better that blocks or pencils. The last figure (female nude holding up a ball) took two days to finish.
I'm working on two larger carvings about 10" tall now that I've got a bit of practice. They are still in the beginning "rough" stages.
I'll post some updates as I do more work.