Thursday, November 17, 2011

Faux Wood Carvings - Updated 11/18/11

(Click to enlarge.)

It was a fairly dreary day here at the homestead... the image I've been laboring over for the past few days is about to hit the proverbial quicksand, the rain that has been persistently falling for 3 days has made just about every other enterprise impossible, and the migraine I've been battling for 24 hours is never far enough at bay - what's not to love?

Well, one thing I definitely do love is (as we know) creating "reality" from scratch... after all, "reality" can be quite ugly... or worse still, uninspired and quite the bore... but as a creative person, this should never be the case. It is your duty (I say) to embellish the walls of hell with transdimensional postcards from your inner paradise. And, while beauty is, perhaps, "only in the eye of the beholder", I'm hoping there are some things we can unanimously agree upon... for instance, the beauty of carved wood!

Actually, I've never attempted to carve wood... but one of the joys of digital manipulation is that all things are possible on a flat screen canvas. Sadly, faux objects have no tactile presence, any more than a type of dream... but, well, we can dream, and, perhaps, in some dimension, that's all that really counts.

So, here are 3 examples of carved wood I created to brighten my own day, and hopefully yours. The first panel was composed with a computer scan of a small plaster piece I carved a decade ago - the lid of a box I eventually cast in casting stone - superimposed over an actual scrap of wood also scanned into the computer. The middle panel is composed of a scanned-in-seashell, along with another tiny plaster snake-carving of mine, superimposed over the same chunk of wood. This was the original detail used (in modified form) for Tatiana's throne in the "The Dragon & the Pearl". (Note: an ironic little twist regarding this throne, is that the back cushion - and presumably the seat - was created out of an old snake-skin handbag!)

My last faux wood carving uses the same wood, only this time I've superimposed one of my  graphic images - Doors of Perception - over it.

What do you think - steam-punkish furniture?


(Click to enlarge.)

Note: The lithograph above (my first and last!) - Chimera - was the inspiration for the 3-headed bird image incorporated into the faux wood panel shown at the top of the post. The original plaster carving of the image has been placed on the sidebar of this blog, shown in its original size (I had perfect eye-sight in those days!). My "Chimera" had nothing to do with the original myth. And this lithograph was not actually my first representation of this image... the first being a sculpture created with self-hardening clay (which eventually broke into a number of pieces!).

As for the three-headed bird... well, after doing some research on the web, apparently other artists have been inspired by the idea of 3-headed birds, but nowhere can I find a description of it as a symbol. It seems like there should be an alchemical equivalent, but of this I am not sure. One clue to this possibility, however, lies in this image found carved onto a cathedral... alluding to a possible Masonic symbol. It occurs to me that not long after I carved my image, I had a dream of this bird. Contrary to what you might expect, this odd avian could fly!


  1. I LOVE these! Particularly the left and center -- I am reminded of panels unearthed in a long buried transdimensional tomb...of urns containing organs...of mutated scarab beetles...of the 3-headed crane guarding the gates of Transference.

    It's not a's your brain growing beyond the LIMITS OF YOUR SKULL! AIEEEEEEEEE....

    I do have ONE complaint. The image is rather dark...and no, it's not my display.

  2. Thank you for your enthusiasm, sweets!

    I don't quite see an Egyptian connection but I think I know what you mean... but, is there really a 3-headed crane that guards a "Gate of Transference" or did you just invent that? In either case, it's truly a cool concept! :-)

    That 3-head bird carving - I thought it might be a sort of egret - has always been a favorite of mine, but I never quite understood what my muse meant by it or from whence it came. I always just called it the "Sacred Bird of the Strange". It originally came from my first (and last) lithograph... maybe I'll post that, too, for "historical" reference.

    BTW, your wish is my command: I brightened the web image up a td... it became dark cause I notice contrast rather suffers in web .jpegs, and I tried to allow for that.

    Thanks again!

  3. Thank you for the brighter better for me. Ach...age....

    The Three Headed Crane that guards the Gate of Transference is hinted at in Dante's "Divine Comedy" (near the passage where Beatrice whispers "there are darker things than mortals dare dream" after Dante inquires the meaning of the mezuzah beyond the portal) and again, in the long-lost HP Lovecraft manuscript, "The Door Beyond the Stars" (the latter being only recently found in the Miskatonic Library archives). In reference, the 3-headed Crane creature (as it appears in OUR dimension) is symbolic of birth, transference (i.e. 'death') and immortality.

  4. P.S. I love that lithograph - it's very damned surreal. Almost as if one has been lurking at the Threshold of the Gate Beyond the Stars.

  5. Birth, death and immortality... "Gate of Transference","Door Beyond the Stars"... I think we see a theme developing here - pretty cool stuff, BG! And, you know, back in the days when I created that lithograph I would've gobbled up that symbolism like head-candy.

    (Mezuzah and Miskatonic Library? Well, you almost had me fooled, You wily raven trickster!)

    P.S. F*ck age, the image *was* too dark...