Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Unfinished Business" an Art Collaboration with the Departed, for Day of the Dead

The right opportunity fell into my lap at just the right time. I was offered some wood pieces by a generous facebook friend (thanks Gary), that were partially carved by a departed woodcarving couple. Since I was again curating for Day of the Dead @ Guardino Gallery, "Unfinished Business" seemed a natural.....The above piece started with this little head square head wearing a hat....

His beard was cut down, eyes gouged out , face painted & his head reshaped, with my knives

I built a little boat for him, from old wood, with wheels that roll.

I cut and shaped the body, his limbs all move, and he can sit independently. He measures 12 inches long and is holding a cross.

Then from these three pieces , I chose the middle piece to work with. It was a post with a face in the middle. I cut the top head off and rounded all the edges.

I sketched out a spiky top

Cut them out. Then envisioned a swirly pattern all the way around .

Here's the sketch , that was then cut and shaped.

The shaping here, in progress.

The stain really makes the swirls, show up .

A little paint on the face really made his features pop out. I hope I did it justice. I call him "Totem of the trees" and he measures 15"

Altars are a big part of the Day of the Dead celebration. This one is @ Cargo in NW pdx. (link button is not cooperating)

I built one for the gallery adding vintage trims and putting a bight coat of paint.

It measures 44'x 17. The velvet inside had foam core to pin on messages of photos, inside is the floating heart in a frame called "Forever"

Then the cross, I built from salvaged wood , it has flickering bulbs , it measures 31x 21 it's called "Follow the Light" All work is for sale.

Finally...... here is a small sampling of work I have the honor to hang in the gallery tomorrow. So exciting to take the gallery from blank walls to cohesive show! Tune in for the transformation.


  1. Looks awesome, Steph! Will be in next week to see it in person.

  2. The opening reception was campy fun and your art work is stunning!

  3. Wow--you really brought out the best in Totem of the Trees, he looks great! The pics of the show are wonderful, can't wait to go see it.