Sunday, October 09, 2005

Homosassa Fine Art and True Craft Show
This morning I headed over to the Homosassa Springs Wild Life Park where the annual Fine Art and True Craft Show was taking place. I am not sure, but I am of the thought that this marks the unofficial return of the Snowbirds? In any case, it is an invite only show, and there are no beer can boats or re-selling of Hong Kong made trinkets, only, as the name says, fine art and true crafts.

The highway near the entrance was jammed and the parking lot full with vehicles making new spaces along the edges on the lawn and other places nearby. Out on the lawn, the allure of the white canopies promised the possibility of new creations to delight the viewer.

I made my way over, and being particular to wood and woodcarving, I spent most of my visit at the displays that held these things. The overall quality of all the work, including the non-wood creations, was excellent, and even where I saw things I had seen before, they were done with new interpretations that showed vitality.

New and delightful variations on the drawer in the solid block of wood concept by Images of Nature, Crystal River.
Creations of colorful glass by Whitney’s Glass Works were a bit subdued by the overcast day.

Larry Whidden Originals of Spring Hill showed some fun imagery with beaten and formed copper.
Nature painter, Peter R Gerbert displayed originals and prints capturing his vision of the abundant Florida wildlife.
Ellen Phaff of the Miranda Gallery in Clearwater added color and fun with her wild images.

One exhibitor particularly grabbed my attention. DH Dufore displayed three walls of exceptionally well executed work fusing a great skill with painting and a sharp eye for fitting subject to his material, in this case, odd slabs of wood. I discussed his process with him a bit and he explained the utter importance of fitting the subject to the piece of wood rather than trying to force a pre-selected subject to a board. His insistence paid off for in each case the fusion of subject and support greatly enhanced each.
Though I was a mere two feet from this piece, and I am myself a specialist in the field, I mistook this frog for a relief carving instead of simply paint applied with such skill in handling depth and detail that the darn frog is just sticking right out of the slab!
DH beautifully used the existing grain, augmented by a few strokes of white paint to capture a beach on this slab.
Note how the subject so beautifully fits the natural visuals of this particular slab of wood. The wood comes first and a subject is then sought to fit the “environment” that the wood suggests. Note also the addition of the small elk image on the lower right adds to the overall effect. The piece could have been called complete without it, but its addition shows that little extra that elevates certain creators.

Again, note how the subject has been selected to fit the wood. The natural patterns and stains in the wood almost seem to suggest elephant hide. Note in all of these the wonderful detail and depth that DH has created with his masterly use of paint. I assure you- they are all perfectly flat!

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