I’m going to cut my head off is all I could think, standing on what felt like a tight rope, hanging on to a forty pound saw for the first time. When running it was like fending off a pitbull. I was about to make my first cut into a three-foot branch above my head with a saw, I could barely pick up. What am I doing here I thought, I'm six feet off the ground, on a couple of twisted planks holding a power saw, about to cut into a tree I couldn’t even get my arms around. If I hadn’t been in Ontario, up from Nova Scotia to carve this tree for my brother, I would never have started that knuckle-beating beast. Never thinking I'd be using power saws, they always made me shiver on what they’re capable of doing when they kicked back, but I'm thinking I have to do this, I just have to get use to it. So after a couple of close calls, some safety equipment, I got over my lifelong fears. Now with several carvings under my belt, I'm actually comfortable with it now.
As a part time Artist for the last twenty-five years, I couldn't settle on one media, switching from watercolor to acrylics, back watercolor to oils to silkscreen and so on and so on. Oh! Carving smaller objects like animals, waterfowl and small birds in between my transformations, still searching I think. I couldn't find a media that I wanted to commit myself to. Once I got the nerve to start that beast of a chain saw, standing on that make shift staging, things just came to me. I felt a confidence that never showed in any other form of my art. I could see in my mind where I had to make the cuts. I'm sure the numerous sketches I did before hand put the image there, but I could see it in that five by twelve-foot monster. I knew after carving the Piper, that tree carving is what I should be doing.
My first carving on McNab St. Elora Ontario. March 2004, Ash tree, 12' tall. Insert shows the back with detail in cape.
2nd photo is tree before carving.
1940's Harley carved from Elm in River Hebert, N.S. 6' long. Coated with wood preservative and uv protection.
2nd photo is log before carving.
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