Friday, January 11, 2008

Sculpture: "Prize"

click to enlarge
I may add some close-ups of this piece at some time in the future, but in my effort to update this blog daily if possible, I wanted to post this sculpture I completed some time ago, titled "Prize". I love fishing ... I've spent many a fruitless afternoon in high hopes on lakes and streams, contemplating the uncanny parallels between this sport and life itself. The spirit that keeps me going is a spirit of PLAY ... a sense of unbridled optimism keeps this game of life forever fascinating, despite the occasional empty creel or the unsuccessful art fair.

Many years ago, my Dad took me fishing in Alaska. It was a fabulous father-son bonding experience, and beyond that, an opportunity to fish for larger prey than I had ever tackled before - Steelhead Salmon. At one of the fishing spots our small group stumbled upon, we each took turns on a small boulder jutting up in the middle of the bay - kind of a scary perch, but right in the path of the salmon. The thing wasn't flat, and on 3 sides, it went straight down - God only knows how deep. I rehearsed in my mind how to get my waders off if I fell in, so they wouldn't drag me down into the abyss! The fourth side slanted into the water for some distance before dropping off.

Shortly after the boat dropped me off for my turn on the Rock, I hooked a big one. It was such a thrill playing that big boy around & around the rock with light spinning gear. This thing was huge, and right at the limit of what my equipment could handle. Finally, I worked him around to the sloped side of the rock, intending to drag him as close to the surface as possible before I made a grab for him. In a last-ditch effort to break free from his line, he thrashed in the shallow water, and ZIP! My line broke as it scraped across a sharp barnacle on the rock. And then I realized - he didn't know he was free! For a split-second, he and I looked at each other ... me on the rock, him in the water .... and I knew if I wanted him, I'd have to go in after him. I dived for him, waders and all, and landed belly-first on his long thick body. He began thrashing underneath me, and I had to hold on for dear life - I had no idea how strong he was until then. After our wrestling match, I managed to bring him ashore.

I had always felt elated when I actually caught something in my past fishing trips - but this was different. That victorious feeling was part of what I wanted to convey with this piece. The fish is not a salmon, but a combination of salmon, trout, bass and...whatever! I called it an "Everyfish". It is carved in basswood (yes, really) and painted with acrylic artist's colors. The rest of the piece is carved wood, decorated with brass accents, turquoise eyes, and composite gold leaf.
This piece is still available at $3,800, shipping included to the US. Call me at the studio - (505) 296-1400 - to discuss how I can get him to you!

Monday, January 7, 2008

My First Published Poem!

As many of you know, my forte is in the field of visual arts, not performance or written words. Despite that, I have had a growing interest in those other fields, and was honored when one of my poems, "Lucky Boy" was included in a collection of poems by global poets MUCH better than me titled Spirit of Humanity - poetic visions of a better world, published by Artists for a Better World International. Clicking on the book cover to the right will take you to the Caf├ępress page where you can order a copy if you like:

Okay, So.... here's the poem (short & sweet!)
Lucky Boy

This is my favorite lifetime
of all that came before
Of all the times I've donned this flesh,
I have not loved it more.

No, I am not handsome,
Nor tall or debonaire,
Nor rich beyond my wildest dreams
with thick and rugged hair!

No, I was given other gifts
- I'm such a lucky boy -
For I can wield an artist's tools
and bring to others joy.

David Lloyd Stewart