Since early childhood I have had a great love and appreciation for wild animals and the natural world. So it was no surprise I went into a field that would build on this love. I completed a Bachelor’s in Science degree in Zoology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983. Since that time I have worked as a wildlife biologist for various government and non-government organizations, and for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System for 30 years. My professional work as a Wildlife Biologist and National Wildlife Refuge Manager has been my inspiration and reference material for my medium.
I have been carving for 28 years. Since that time I have competed and done well in major wildfowl carving competitions such as first place in sculpture at Western Heritage Artist show in 2017 and artist choice in 2016 at the Western Heritage Artist show, the Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition in Ocean City, Maryland, the Pacific Southwest Wildfowl Arts show in San Diego, CA, and the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association show in Sacramento, CA. In Montana I have competed and done well in the Montana Woodcarvers Association in Billings and the Western Montana Woodcarvers Show in Missoula. Much of my work is in private collections throughout the United States.
My bird carvings are all original pieces of art. I carve the birds out of tupelo gum wood, create the feathers by using a wood burning tool, use glass eyes, and I make the legs and feet out of brass and/or copper tubing. I also make the habitat accompanying the carving, down to the nails and barbed wire.
My desire to create life-like birds is to capture and do justice to the bird’s true beauty, size, colors, and uniqueness. Secondly, I carve bird to bring people closer to nature and possibly instill in them an appreciation for birds, other wildlife, and their habitat. I want people to be amazed by the bird and not the carving. Finally, I carve birds because I love to and for no other reason.