Friday, March 2, 2007


Standing at just over a foot tall, this bull moose, crossing a leaf-littered landscape is not only majestically carved, the muscles and skin are skillfully secured to the skeleton and the colouration is stunning. It becomes rapidly apparent that this modest artisan is as beautiful a painter as he is a carver.

In order to bring a piece of life, Craig says he has learned to work with the interplay of light on his work, beyond what the room lighting alone will do. “It’s just like looking at a canvas painting. You want to pick out certain highlights and shadows that you want people to look at and to draw attention to that area. I always choose a light source, and I pick a favourite side of the moose. That’s the side I’ll make believe the sun is shining on, so that’s where I apply the warmer colours and on the other side, the cooler colours.”

Before he started cutting out his basswood moose, he says he sketched out a few positions, using horse magazines just to exaggerate the muscle. “I guess you could say I used artistic license.” Inspiration for these pieces comes not only from the wood itself, but from outdoor life and wildfowl carving magazines, including the work of naturalist painters such as Robert Bateman, and Glen Loates. Although he says he is always learning from others, he does credit the inspiration and advice of good friend Alex Lulham, a carver from Georgetown, who has shared many tips back and forth with Craig.

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