Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Standing Red Bear

I finished this piece before my eye op but he'd taken up residence on the coffee table so I could admire him over the past weeks and I do admire him.  I love the colors and they actually look better  in real life.  The blanket is really bright and that black line sets it off even more.   The ear rings are metal and with the bask he stands about 14-15" tall.  A real nice piece.

There are more photos in the Gallery and once again Google has changed things around in there.  Comments welcome.

Jar Head

I actually made it back into the shop the other day to finally finish this little bust.  He turned out so well I'm thinking of using him for the Dayton show carving auction instead of "Pancakes".  I'm sure there are a lot of viewers out there who will relate to this one more than the other.

I made the hanging helmet staps out of tupelo and the small strap over the front of the steel pot out of a thin strip of aluminum flashing.  The dog tags are also cut from some flashing, held to the body by a soldered post.  The M1 rifle is a seperate piece doweled to the back, working from a photo I tried to make it as accurate as possible and yes, the strap buckles are not accurate but look ok to me.

I really like this one and will no doubt do some more soldiers later on.  As always your comments are welcome.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Buffalo Bill Cody

Put the final brush strokes to this one yesterday and considering my constant squinting he turned out pretty nice.  There are more photos in the Gallery section and will look forward to your comments.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Buffalo Bill CodyThere are

Buffalo Bill Cody is one of my heroes in American History.  Truly a remarkable man.  In his time he was without a doubt the most famous man in the world.  If you ever get the chance to visit the Cody Museum in Cody, Wyoming should take it as it is one of the best western collections around.  And of course you can stay at the Irma Hotel and sample their fantastic buffet, almost worth the trip itself!

I've done quite a few busts of Buffalo Bill over the years but in this one I tried to be a little more realistic.  This one is about 12" tall with the walnut base and should be a winner once painted.  There are a few more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rooster Finds A New Home

We handed over my carving of "Rooster" to the new John Wayne Museum this past Tuesday.  They were quite excited about receiving it and placed it in the "True Grit" display case right next to the eyepatch John Wayne wore when filming the movie.  Funny...when I mentioned that Judy and I had seen one at the Autry museum in California I was told that Wayne insisted on a new patch each day of filming.  Also in the case were the jacket he wore along with his pistol and a commemorative carbine.  Harry Jackson's bronze of Rooster was also setting close by. (Years ago Judy and I took a tour of Jackson's studio in Cody, Wyoming.) Our Rooster fit right in and the weathered colors I used really matched the overall look.  The Museum will be publishing a newsletter soon about the presentation and I will post it once received.

When I was honored a few years back to have some of my larger scenes included in the permanent collection of the Woolaroc Museum here in Oklahoma I thought that it was the crowning moment of my carving career.  While it certainly is a high mark I feel that this one measures right up there with it.  Seeing that little bust of mine in among the other memorabilia of that great star and American makes me feel quite humble and truely honored.  What a thrill.

I have posted some other photos of our trip to Winterset, Iowa in the Gallery should you like to see them.  As you can see by the photo of Brian Downes, the museum's Director, Judy and our cousin Carl Heinrich, standing in front of the house where Wayne was born,  it was a perfect day all round.

Thursday, August 06, 2015


This has got to be one of the best I've done so it certainly deserves the "Classic" designation as an example of my best work.   I had a little doubt about the collar but it turned out that that was one of the easiest parts to carve.  I did reinforce the tips with some super glue for a little bit of extra protection.  The painting was also quite easy and, like The Searcher, I used a lot of dry brushing to create a well worn effect.    When mounting it to the base I turned it to emphasize the eye patch...maybe just a little bit too much but when I took the photos this morning and viewed the one showing his right side I think it was the right decision.

This one will be my choice to offer the museum as it's in the caricature genre and therefore more representative of my work.  Whichever one they prefer...The Searcher or Rooster, the other is already spoken for and will reside in a collection with a few of his buddies.

There are more photos in the Gallery and I will look forward to and encourage your comments as I really appreciate you views of my work .... both positive and negative.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


I think I have a new submission for the John Wayne museum to consider.  While "The Searcher" was nice I think this one, once painted, will be the real standout.  There are several more photos in the Gallery and I can't wait to paint him.

Comments welcome as always.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Here's one more.  "Pancakes"!  Cookie just whipped up a stack of flapjacks for the boys as a special treat for their hard, dusty work keeping those cows in line.  I had fun with this one, especially making that stack of hotcakes and painting them to look like the real article.  I hit it pretty close I think.   And again, with my growing Cataracts, doing the fine painting was a real chore.  Come on September!

I hope to contribute this one for the carving auction at the Dayton show this November.  If I remember correctly, it's an open theme again this year as last.  My Emmet Kelly from a few years back when for a nice sum whick benefits the Dayton club and I hope this one does even better.

There are more photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do. 

The Searcher

Put the finishing touches to this one today and am pretty satisfied with it.  If things work out it will be destined for the new John Wayne Museum in Winterset, Iowa.  Seems the Director of the museum and the Wayne family saw a photo of the small bust I did earlier and asked if I could do another.  Their only requirement was that there was no cigarette in the piece.  No problem said I.  I gave a lot of thought to just how I would portray him, settling on either Rooster Cogburn or Ethan Edwards from the movie The Searchers.  As I have a Grandson named Ethan and as The Searchers is probably my favorite Wayne movie I put the coin back in my pocket.  I also wandered away from the caricature theme a bit and tried to be a little more realistic.  Hope it works.

This one is about 12" with the base and while it looks a little generic without any color I hoping that the application of paint will bring the figure to life.  If now I have Rooster Cogburn partially completed as a fall back.

Anyway, I hope you like him so far and will look forward to your comments.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Red Hawk II

Here's a new one I just finished today.  Approximately 8 inches tall with the base.  I have to admit that I had my doubts about him but after applying the facial paint everything seemed to come together.
For the texture on the robe I again used some fine gravel held in place by clear acrylic medium (Mod Podge).  I really ike the way it looks as the rough surface seems to disperse light more than the normal burning.  Again, like a lot of details, once reduced in scale they lose almost any resemblance to reality.  The ear rings are made from copper wire with aluminum ducting material for the fobs. The skin side of the robe needed something so I added a few designs to bust up the surface.

I hope you like him and will look forward to your comments.