My studio is adorned (inside and outside) with skulls. My fascination with skulls met a kindred spirit when I first became aware of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of skulls while in high school. Mmmmm…….yes…..! Over the years I have played with ideas around creating with skulls and bones…but only in my mind.
While playing in Jackson Hole last month, I enjoyed the typical “way-too-short-but-what-a-charge” connection I share with fellow sculptor Ben Roth. He is lit. Bright and beaming, muse and amusing, Ben fully engages in life inside and outside the studio with a passion that rivals my own. We never have enough time to exchange ideas, talk shop, talk life and tell tales but I always walk away with something to chew on (and a grin).
Ben told me about his idea to have a Trophy Art fundraiser for the National Museum of Wildlife Art – grand good fun (I have a fondness for trophy art). So I decided to pull off a rather last minute entry as a good excuse to play with skulls and support a museum I cherish. I only had a few days to complete and ship the sculpture to meet the deadline but the time limit turned out to be a blessing as it forced me to work small. During the past two years I have tried several times to create on a small scale something from what I am exploring in my “Reliquary” series – but so far nothing has kept my attention. My desire to create art potent with spirit along with my current obsession with the feeling of reverence just hasn’t found a way to be squished down – but there I was in my studio with a deadline and ideas and…well…
The sculpture is 9” x 5” (yes – that is inches…!)
Carved from a scrap piece of black walnut left over from the Bison Bench, tiny feathers line the niche and gold-leafed barbs adorn the 100-year-old barbwire.
Can you guess which wild bird the skull is from?
The sculpture is on exhibit (and for sale) at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY until March 15. Meanwhile, I am excited to continue this series and play with skulls…