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Category Archives: Wood

scott roach’s assemblage sculptures

California sculptor Scott Roach creates wood and metal assemblages with rich textures, colors and shapes that beg to be viewed closer, closer still.


18″H x 65″W x 2″D
carved and painted mahogany

Roach carves, burns, hammers, colors, and sands the surfaces of each piece until he achieves the desired patterns, colors and textures on the wood and metal.


20″H x36″W x 3″D

“The challenge is to come up with a piece that invites the hand and the eye to enjoy the experience, and the mind to smile. And, like a desert canyon, to invite you to explore the hidden beauty within.” Scott Roach


Taking root
48″H x 22″W x 4″D
walnut carved and torched, figured cottonwood, poplar
carved and bronze coated, steel, patinaed copper


 Spectral Morning
48″H x 8″W x 3″D
mahogany, padouk, torched ash,
carved and painted maple, patinaed copper 


Spectral Morning, detail

He surrenders to the random nature of some of the processes involved, like the chemical reaction of patina on metal.


Eye of the wind
30″H x 60″W x 3″D
padouk, maple, mahogany, bubinga, bamboo, patinaed brass


36″H x 28″W x 2″D
ipe, maple, wenge, bubinga, curly maple, bamboo,
patinaed brass, perforated aluminum

Every now and then I come across large-scale wall sculpture that makes me do a double take because in my mind I have translated the sculpture into jewelry – usually brooches. I see the potential for small-scale here. Do you?

Scott Roach’s website

paul kaptein: the endless possibilities of sunyata

Paul Kaptein’s sculptures, complete with empty spaces, gave me pause. When I first saw the images I didn’t know anything about the artist. I knew the emotion those empty spaces called up in me, but could there be another reason for them?


laminated, hand carved wood 

Reading his About page brought things into focus. I’m in a particular state of mind lately. . .grieving for more than one reason. When I saw the sculptures, the holes resonated with the empty places in me, representing loss.


the feeling of no feeling
laminated hand carved wood, life size


The Archivist
laminated, hand carved wood 

Then I read what Kaptein wrote on the About page of his website. I sat straight up in my chair. My perspective changed and my heavy heart felt lighter, if only for a moment. . .but still.


laminated, hand carved wood 

Kaptein speaks of sunyata, a Sanskrit word translated into English as emptiness. However, in Buddhist teachings emptiness carries a different meaning than the one most often associated with it. Oh, yes.


and in the endless pauses there came a sound
laminated, hand carved wood

The simplest explanation I found for sunyata was this: “The reason for the Buddhist teaching of emptiness is to loosen all attachments to views, stories and assumptions, leaving the mind empty of all greed, anger, and delusion; therefore empty of suffering of stress, anxiety, frustration and unsatisfactoriness.” (source)


Contours Of Emptiness

The last sentence of Paul Kaptein’s short statement helped to shift something in me:

 ”Often considered a void, Sunyata offers endless possibility.”

Powerful. Read his very short, succinct statement here.

joe fig’s polymer clay and mixed media sculptures offer insight into the creative process

Joe Fig sought out more than 50 artists at different stages of their career, interviewed them, took photographs of them and of their studios and then he did something amazing.


Working on the Chuck Close sculpture. Photo by Sage Sohier


Chuck Close

He chose 20 artists and reproduced their studios to scale in miniature (1 inch = 1 foot), sculpting the figures and most of the details using polymer clay and paint. Some pieces, like tools and roof shingles, are store-bought and transformed. Please click on each image to see it full size – the details are amazing on these miniature table sculptures.


Eric Fischl

Fig’s goal was to seek insight into the creative process and he developed a questionnaire of specific questions for each artist to answer. He hoped their answers would help young artists at the beginning of their journey. He shares detailed images of the sculptures and interviews in his book, Inside The Painter’s Studio.

A few of the questions from the questionnaire:

When contemplating your work, where and how do you sit or stand? How often do you clean your studio and does it affect your work? Did you have a plan for the layout of your studio or did it develop organically? What time do you get up? When do you come to the studio? Do you have specific clothing that you change into?


Each sculpture takes between one week and four months to create depending on the size and level of detail.

fig_ursulavonrydingsvardUrsula VonRydingsvard

According to this article, what Fig learned from this endeavor is that there really is no formula for success as an artist – but the most successful ones all worked regularly and kept steady hours in the studio.


Leonardo Drew
26.5″ x 17.25″


Leonardo Drew, detail

Joe Fig’s website


The January Issue of Monthly Art Muse landed in subscriber’s inboxes a couple of days ago.

If you are a subscriber and did not receive your copy, please let me know!

If you would like to subscribe to the premium newsletter you can do that right here.


will kurtz: “i would rather have an ugly truth than a beautiful lie.”

Former landscape artist Will Kurtz began making art as a self-taught artist at the age of 35. A recent MFA graduate from the New York Academy of Art, the Brooklyn based artist creates figurative sculptures using wood, wire and newspapers.

wood, chicken wire, paper, tape, hot glue, mat medium, life size, 5′-11″

kurtz - eric, detail

Eric, detail 

Describing his sculptures, Kurtz explains, ”My work is about finding that certain honesty, sincerity and rawness of humans. I never intend for my work to be beautiful in the classical sense. Sometimes I purposefully avoid this. I find beauty in almost everything around me. What some might find ugly I find beautiful. I would rather have an ugly truth than a beautiful lie.”

wood, chicken wire, newspaper, tape, hot glue, mat medium, life size

“I want people to look at my work and find tenderness, vulnerability and humor. The person they are looking at might be completely different from them, but they will be able to connect on a deeper level because we are all human regardless of the life we are given or have chosen to live.”

wood, chicken wire, newspaper, tape, hot glue, mat medium, life size


Brighton Beach Bench  [via]
wood, metal wire, newspaper, glue, tape, cardboard, screws, synthetic hair, hair tie, 50 x 38 x 113 in.

“I use the subjects and colors in the newspapers as my palette. I am able to make the sculptures quickly and retain the creative energy. My sculptures draw you in with their familiarity and unexpected life coming from such an everyday material.”

Will Kurtz

Many more Kurtz sculptures at Mike Weiss Gallery

 The December Issue Of MAM Is Ready!

If you are missing your daily dose of DAM (I am still at my mom’s assisting her and not always able to get to the computer) remember that you can subscribe to my premium newsletter, Monthly Art Muse.

The December issue boasts 19 pages of awe-inspiring art, artist opportunities, links to love, cool resources and more sneak peeks of completed Peace by Piece artwork (this month we look at Christina Bothwell’s and Marie Gibbons’ finished sculptures). The issue also includes a several page spread about a Victorian early animation toy – I love what artists today have done with the idea and I think you will love it too.


The December issue landed in subscriber’s inboxes today! Click here to subscribe and receive it as an instant download RIGHT NOW!




claire oswalt’s sculptural drawings

They’ve been called wooden paper dolls, marionettes, jointed figures, paper puppets, but no matter what label you attach to Claire Oswalt’s work, you can’t deny the artist’s masterful use of basic materials and her skillful attention to detail in these drawings of people in motion.


Camel Clutch
graphite, paper, wood, 49″x48″x4.5″


For Right Now
wood, twine, paper, graphite, 54″x40″

Oswalt first draws her subjects with graphite then cuts the shapes in wood and assembles them as jointed figures. They range from less than 12″ to 8 feet!

Photographs on this post do not show the scale of the work – an important element of the collection.


 Doubled Over
graphite, paper, acrylic, wood, 26″x36″x13″


 The Alpha
graphite, paper, wood, 58″x68″x5.5″


 Pack Of Girls
wood, twine, graphite, acrylic, paper, 10.5″x10″


 Extended Handshake
paper and graphite on motorized wood


 Pack of Women Saying Hello
wood, twine, grahpite, acrylic, paper, 15″x11″

Claire Oswalt

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