This piece was inspired by a painting by Keith Powell that graces the cover of a book called `The Bird Tribes`. The book had a profound effect on me in my early twenties. The image has forever stuck in my mind. This is my version of that image carved in wood. It was important for me not to copy the original painting but rather to reflect on the feelings that the painting brings up for me.
This carving also speaks to a dream that a friend related to me that I have also experienced. ` I coulden`t remember if I was a human dreaming that I was an eagle or if I was an eagle dreaming that I was a human.`
This is obviously a fabulous piece of wood. It is Broad Leaf Maple from the Nanoose area on Vancouver Island. My brother in law Dave was working on a building site where the tree was felled. He asked if I was interested, the whole section of trunk was a huge burl. I told him to get that piece of wood no matter what it took. I later free hand sliced the whole burl into 5 pieces with a chainsaw. This is one of 2 whole slices with 2 flat sides. The 2 outside bumps were turned on a lathe and the core was rotten but I pulled a sculpture out of it called `The Story Inside`. This was the first piece that I attempted to hand carve detail and serious depth. I was afraid of it until I finally got going. Maple is considerably harder than most west coast carving woods. Especially the Cedars. The `burl` grain is also completely unpredictable. It does however hold better fine detail and ultimately carves very cleanly with very sharp tools.
The eagle eyes are Paua shell (New Zealand Abalone) and the human eyes are mother of pearl. The finish is Saicos Hardwax Oil.
Sold. From Port Alberni at the Ahtsik Art Gallery. $4850