Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is Art?

When I started creating stuff close to five years ago, I considered myself a wood worker.  Not a craftsman, artist or artisan.  My initial bird houses were terrible.  However, over time they became more refined.  The joints fit together well, the all wood construction impressed me, but did not impress too many other people.  When I did my first shows, people would say my bird houses were "nice".  I think the word nice is another way of saying boring.

Adding Paint

My neighbor, Steve Akins commissioned me to make a bird house for his brother and sister in-law.  they loved the mountains of Tennesee.  Steve wanted mountains, trees and a sunset on the bird house.  Being a wood worker, I did not want to stray from the traditional approach of covering up the wood with paint and hiding the tight fitting joints and wood grains.  I hesitated on making the bird house for a month.  Reluctantly I went out and purchased acrylic paint.

The First Thing I Painted 

The first thing I painted was a sunset or sunrise (depending if you are morning person or night owl).  This would be the first element to the Akin's bird house.  Then I added mountain outlines to the piece.  They were pretty boring too.  In the end, I cut out the mountains from 1/8 inch wood, painted the mountains to be purple mountains majesty and added a wire forest to the bottom of the bird house.  This first step in painting was a big step away from being a wood worker and becoming an artist.

Wood Worker to Artist

Since I had the paint, I started to experiment with painting wood scraps and making wall sculptures.  Which lead to vases at Steve Akin's suggestion.   The approach I took to painting was to add different globs of paint on the wood and stroke through to add multiple colors.  This entertained me for a while until I ran out of paint.  Then I slipped back into being a wood worker.  I say wood worker because I definitely was not an artisan at this point and really needed to work the wood (grind) to have tight joints.

First Lesson Learned and Forgotten

The finish is key.  Sounds simple to learn and not forget, but when your making you have a myopic view and can't see where you are going.  Now over five years later, I am revisiting my first lesson and understanding that the finish is key.  One can take something mundane, for example, bird houses and make it into art.

Art is All About the Finish

There are a few element to the finish of a product.  These include the colors, designs, imagery and the actual quality the finish being applied.  My friend Kurt Herrmann has been a great help in pulling me into perpetually creating new stuff, but more importantly working on the finish of my work.

Is It Art?

I am currently creating letter art and block art.  Kind or simple pieces when it comes to design and lacks creativity.  However, the finish is unique (iish).   I wold say art isn't always about the content of a piece of work, but all about the finish.  So, I battle with the question if my work is art, not good art, fine art, folk art, but is my work art.  I am slowly accepting that my work is art of some kind due to the final finishes to my work.  Just a morning rant to reinforce my approach to adding and mastering finish to my work.





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bird Houses

Happy Colorful Boyd Abodes

Bird Houses

June 17, 2012 is when I started making.  I told my wife after a failed attempt at publishing a home improvement magazine in Evanvsville I was going to make a living making bird houses.  Being the best wife in the world (no prompting needed), she said "okay".  My first bird houses were made from the knotty pine that covered my foundation walls.  Being a purist at the time, I used no paint.  I treated each bird house with raw linseed oil.  The boiled linseed oil has metal flakes to help it dry and poison birds.

After a five year hiatus from making bird houses, I started again with a new approach.  I decided to add color and some happiness to the homes.
Sunny Day with Happy Flowers
Blue Olive Martini Bird House

Happy Posy Bird House
American Pride Bird House

Rain Drops and Stripes
Butterfly Bird House

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fertility Rabbit

The fertility rabbits are cut from poplar floor joists from 1897.  After they are cut out, they are sanded smooth, painted, and finally burnished for a super shimmery and smooth surface.  Each rabbit sits around ten inches tall.  These pieces would look good in a country home, contemporary or modern home.  The finish is smooth and warm and adds a certain rural charm to any space.  These would make a great wedding gift for those looking to conceive soon.

fertilty rabbit, fertility bunny, fertility rabbit
Natural Fertility Bunny
red wood rabbit, folk art rabbit
Red Fertility Bunny

Last Years Bench

Horse Bench For People

Here is a bench I built last summer.  I wanted to add some kind of cool finish to the piece and it took me close to a year to create this new folksy finish.  This horse bench for people has three horses starting on a run.  I will be creating more of these benches with different themes.
The best part about the horse bench for people is it sold in less than a day.
Haddad Art, folk art, horse bench
Horse Bench for people

Country Farm Blocks - Pigs, Chickens, Cows, Rabbits and Horses

Folk Art, Primitive, Country Warm Art

 Block Wood Farms - These pieces were created from shelves from my "Stalker" van.  To create these pieces, I had to disassemble the shelves, trim the edges off, cut to 6x8 rectangles, sand five years of dirt off of them.  Sand all eight sides and then stain them black ebony.  The intension with the stain was to allow some of the original redwood stain maintain visibility.   Then each block was stenciled with three layers of paint which started with black to gray to white.  Each wood block is finished with polyurethane for protection and easy cleaning.  Haddad Art's stalker van is shown below.

Pigs, Rabbits, Horses, Chickens and Cows

Chicken and Cow
Horsing Around

Pig, Sitting Bunny and Running Rabbit
 Haddad Art Stalker Van as my wife calls it.  She is a beast, but hauls a ton of stuff to art shows
Stalker Van