COWPUNCHER WOODCARVING - 1980

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: DOWN-HOME
Over time I will post articles titled 'OLD-TIME CARICATURES AND CARTOONS', that will highlight art projects I've done over the years, beginning this article with my first in-the-round woodcarving titled COWPUNCHER - 1980. I hope you enjoy this and future articles of me sharing my experiences.

Submitted: March 18, 2019

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Submitted: March 18, 2019

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COWPUNCHER - 1980

OLD-TIME CARICATURES AND CARTOONS

My First Attempt at Carving 'In-The-Round'

I’ve many short stories and a novel yet to publish on booksie.com, and short stories on my Facebook site. However, and periodically, I plan write a brief article under the title ‘OLD-TIME CARICATURES AND CARTOONS’, highlighting my experiences as an artist/cartoonist both for personal fun and as a commercial artist. My first article will be of a woodcarving, the art and craft another sideline interest of mine.

* * *

I began to draw at two years of age. Over the years seeing, observing, remembering, and earnestly practicing, I developed steadily my drawing skill. It was much later I included painting, first with pastels, ultimately applying myself to oil painting, then all mediums to master them as an illustrator, cartoonist, and graphic artist, lots of my output for the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company.

My experience as a woodcarver, an aspiring artistic challenge generating in the 1970’s, was first high relief, my initial relief carving that of a cowboy titled ‘Desert Wrangler’ that’s anchored to my north Georgia cabins’ living room wall. 

It wasn’t until 1980 that I entertained doing a three-dimensional carving (‘in-the-round). On a whim, I cut four two-inch by eight-inch pieces of wood and glued them together for my experiment. Using a graphite pencil, I drew my cowboy figure from imagination on all sides of the 4x8 inch block. Beginning with the ten-gallon hat, I carved confidently negative wood with new Warther carving knives I purchased recently while visiting the Mooney Warther train woodcarving museum located in Dover, Ohio. When I finished roughly carving the figures’ basic shape, I settled more carefully to cut the general then more complex details, truly enjoying seeing my cowboy gradually take shape and my project progress toward my expectation.

A fast learner, I acquired skill manipulating my knife to score, stop cut, undercut, and whittle generally to shape forms without whacking my thumb too much, oftentimes making tiny and not too serious cuts crisscrossing the tip. Though the carving turned out a satisfying project, I saw room for much improvement. Reaching a point where enough was enough, seeing no need to carve further, I painted the cowboy with acrylic paints. However, over years I’ve been dissatisfied with my selection of colors. Recently after thirty-nine years, l painted it a second time getting a satisfying antique look over a general change of color. 

Though this small and simple woodcarving isn’t a direct caricature of a person, it was my intention from the outset it be a caricature of a cowboy. Despite its rough appearance compared to my artworks in general, I proudly display it in my collection of western artifacts, my first ‘in-the-round’ carving that’s always been an inspiration to me. 

Happy reading to all … Virgil Dube’.


© Copyright 2019 Virgil Dube. All rights reserved.

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