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.

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Plains Warrior

I put the final touches to this one just a few minutes ago and believe me when I say that I'm glad to see it move out of the shop.  Someone asked me just how long I've spent on him in carving and then in painting.  Who knows?  All I do know it was long enough.  Doing some of my carvings I reach the point of saturation to where I can no longer really enjoy the process as much as looking forward to the enjoyment of completion.  This is one of those.

There is one thing that I was going to do but at the moment thought better of it.  The leggins are kind of plain.  I could have ran beaded strips down each leg but I think that would have been just too much.  I also could have painted on black stripes on each leg to indicate counted coups but I think that too would be just too much.  Seeing it now I think I made the right decision.

I added some horse hair decorations to the ends of the bow and arrow cases and the tomahawk handle.  As they swing freely they add a little motion to a static figure.  I used low doamed brass tacks for the decoration on the belt and added a leather strap to the shield.  With the base the figure measures right at 21".  An impressive carving.

Wrapping things up I think this turned out to be an example of my best work and the collector who has spoken for it will have a really nice piece to add to his growing collection.  I know it will have a good home and lots of old friends.  Hopefully, they'll get along with each other.

Lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments as I always do.

How To Make Glasses