My life as a creator gets split between woodcarving and writing, and the creative process is very different for each.
I – Writing
The old saw about writing about what you know works for me. I mine my background as a 1960’s folkie, anthropologist, sailor, and general screw-up all the time. I try hard to start with something that happened and then take off. Most of the friends I write about are now dead -the sixties, especially – were hard on the life spans of non-conventional types. Yet, I somehow managed to survive. I am astounded sometimes that I have survived this long.
II – carving
I spent most of my career as a carver immersed in 19th-century carving, predominantly maritime carvers. But while that is the “tradition” that my carving sprang from, it’s not who I am as a carver. At some point in the evolution of my carving, I decided that I was in love with the sort of diorama ship portraits done by sailors. And that’s where most of my creative energies are spent. I’m still experimenting, evolving, and finding techniques that work.
Where do I find inspiration? Well, I am an avid reader of the Maine Antiques Digest. I don’t buy antiques. But, I read the Digest because, on almost every page, I find examples of outstanding artistic creativity and inspiration.