Many people have asked me about my technique for doing my carved images. I tell them that almost every aspect of the carving is done using hand tools, generally a 1/16 in. V-gouge and a 1/4 in. flat chisel. This is enormously time consuming, but results in a look and feel that cannot be achieved using power tools. This is especially the case with the carvings that I do of the flowers and plants that are featured in these works.
I begin by doing a careful line drawing of the plant. Often I do the drawing on tracing paper, although occasionally I use Strathmore 70 lb. drawing paper. I transfer the drawing to the wood - usually 1/8 in. birch plywood - using Saral carbon paper. I then set about carving the outline using the V-gouge. Once the outline is finished, I go over it with the sharp corner of the flat chisel. I then use the chisel to remove the first layer of wood, and to carve into it as desired. I sharpen these tools every 20 minutes or so using a soft pine shaper and a leather strop. Because I do this so frequently, I very rarely use a sharpening stone, although I have two excellent Japanese stones for this purpose.
Once the carving is finished, I go back over it very carefully to bring out the details.
Yesterday I worked with my friend and colleague Beverly Mikolon to hang a show of 11 of my large abstract paintings at the Presidio Landmark Apartments. They are located in the lobby of what was once the old Public Health Hospital at 14th Ave. and Lake Street, just inside the border to the Presidio. That hospital has been utterly renovated, and the formerly functional but dreary lobby has been transformed into the entrance to a building now composed of luxury apartments. The location is superb, the views are unusual, and the artwork looks great there. Please stop by take a look - the address is 1801 Wedemeyer Street here in San Francisco. The show will be up until October 20th. Check in at the front desk, and let them know that you are there to look at the art. Between the art and the views looking south at the City, it is worth a visit!
I am a San Francisco artist who enjoys making art and visiting art exhibits.