Go On, Brother Lawrence

Go On, Brother Lawrence is a small wood engraving, carved and printed by hand from a boxwood block. Brother Lawrence (born Nicolas Herman) was a 17th century Discalced (barefoot) Carmelite monk. I will fall short to try to describe him in a brief statement, rather, I encourage you to read the small collection of his letters and conversations, Practicing the Presence of God. He has been a significant influence in my faith and work since I first encountered him in art school, over two decades ago. Brother Lawrence sought out the presence of God at all times and in all things, notably, in his daily labor as a cook and dishwasher and later as a repairer of sandals- the subject of this print- and in so many ways he became the present Christ to very many who came into contact with him.

If you would like to purchase one of these prints they are available in my store, Baumwerkshop.

the boxwood block during the carving process
the block in an early state, inked for proofing
block and print
the original drawing from my sketchbook

Egg Tempera Underpainting of Zechariah 3 & 4

This is a progress update of a painting that I began last year illustrating one of the visions of the old testament prophet, Zechariah. After making a complete grayscale (grisaille) in egg tempera, I have been doing a base color layer in egg tempera with a limited palette, of two earth tones, with a red, yellow, blue, black and white. The final layers of the painting will employ translucent oil glazes.

The Stone Hefter

The Stone Hefter is a small (3″ x 5″) wood engraving that I first carved and printed in 2020. I think it must have struck a chord with people dealing with the weight of the pandemic and the resulting economic and cultural fallout. The first edition of 40 prints sold out rather quickly (for me) so I have printed a second edition on cream paper (the first was on white). It is available to purchase here.

The following is a sheet I typed up concerning the symbolism and some of the personal meaning of the piece.

Grisaille Underpainting of a Visionary Episode from Zechariah

I wanted to share a series of images showing the process of the making of an underpainting which I have been working on for the past few months. The image itself is an illustration of a vision of the biblical prophet Zechariah laid out in chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament. It is a beautiful story of God’s grace and restoration, rich in symbolism and images. It is not very long and is certainly worth reading.

This grisaille is done in egg tempera on an oak panel, built from an oak that came down on my father’s farm in Greenwood county, was subsequently milled (quarter sawn) and air dried for 10 years. The panel has been cradled with walnut and ash to help keep it flat over time. The surface is a traditional gesso as describe out by the 14th century Florentine Cennino Cennini in his Il libro dell’arte. Once the grisaille is complete, I will start to paint layers of translucent colored oil glazes, hopefully to beautiful effect.

the original drawing
the cradle on the back of the panel.
the walnut stiles are “floating” to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction across the grain, held in place only by the ash rails
laying out the main geometry and locations of vanishing points
redrawing the image onto the panel
ready to start painting
part way through
detail of the upper center of the image, using artistic license, I have inferred the trinitarian presence from “the Angel of the Lord”
detail of Satan accusing the high priest Joshua
the little porcelain pallet I use for mixing
on the work table early in the morning
detail of Joshua receiving new garments
current state of the grisaille- nearly completed

Spoons for Poets

Hummingbird Spoon in Cherry

This spoon was carved on commission to be given as a gift to a Kansas poet and photographer, Michelle Terry.

Amos’ Spoon in Osage Orange

I carved this humble eating spoon for my friend Seth Wieck, a poet in Amarillo, Texas, in reference to his epic poem, Ulysses Arrives in Amarillo.

A Handful of Earth

It has been a long time since I have drawn much with colored pencils- many decades as a matter of fact. But the youngest of my kids love to draw with them and we have been spending time drawing together in the evenings. There are many levels of joy in rediscovering the accessibility and immediacy of colored pencils with my children.

A Handful of Earth