Bird of Wood Art
My wood carvings are the complicated me and simply represent a perspective that I hope, show some of the grace and essence of the bird subject. No monetary reward can subtitute my birds of wood, they each are a unique effort that I will never recreate again in the same way.
My name is José. I became interested in woodcarving many years ago, however, it wasn't until I had reached my late teens that I finally got a chance to work with wood and handle real sharp carving tools. My hardheaded character and subject preference in carving afforded me little option but "to carve my own path", learning by trial and error. A few members of my family are or were skilled artist who in one way or another played a role in my artistic interests, however, non played a direct "teach you how"role. I explored Primacolor pencil and charcoal drawing, oil, acrylic and watercolour mediums, none which fully attracted my attention.
I painted school murals as a high schooler and early on at age 15 joined a State sponsored artisan group. Naturally, without any formal training, my early works where crude representations that showed my impatient nature, regardless that, those few first carvings represented an accomplishment to me... I had undertaken a complex task without a hint of direction from anyone, ignoring all negative remarks about my work or creative potential... I had created my own "Bird of Wood" or "Pájaro de Palo" only using my hands to push tools into very hard woods,as I figured a pathway...
Then came college, a transition which precluded any artistic endeavor on my part, as it "consumed" my time, energy and stunted any hope for artistic pursuits. A few years gone by, I woke up again...in hand a diploma to use to get doors of opportunity to open...
My expectations and dreams included the determination to get work in the field of wildlife biology or animal behavior, so I could have a shot at getting my dream job; working in the recovery of a local endangered parrot. I earned that College degree in Natural Science, majoring in Biology and being Ornithology (Science that study birds) one of the fields of study that was most interesting to me, I eyed any opportunity to get to do something related to wild birds, even if that was to clean after them. My interest in wild birds took me to jobs in the field doing habitat restoration, wildernest and refuge area signage, nesting site censusing of sea and wading bird populations and field station chores. I also did Leatherback turtle nesting monitoring for Earthwatch and wildbird censusing and data collection and reporting for manomet bird obsevatory. A short sting on bioenergetic studies with Tropicbirds and many handpainted signs depicting wildlife on federal reserve lands and vehicles. These field oportunities allowed me to closely observe wild birds and sketch drawing on site, some which I later on used as reference for paintings and carvings.
The late John Taylor, USFWS Culebra Island refuge leader was influencial in conecting me with Dr.James W.Wiley, USFWS Patuxent who offered me a job working hands on with the recovery of the Endangered Puerto Rican Parrot and years later, the dream job, Project Leader, became a reality thanks to the late Dr. Jose L.Vivaldi, Chief of the Pureto Rican DNR Terrestrial Resources Division. A momunental job that required a great deal of energy, physical and emotional stregth and total dedication to enforce rules that too often caused Interagency animosity, workplace friction and recentment towards our team. For more than a decade our very dedicated team developed and successfully brought together the promising and now very succesful second breeding captive flock of this highly endangered parrot in the Rio Abajo forest on the North-Central part of the Island of Puerto Rico.
After more than 10 years, all project's main operational objectives accomplished, and a soon to be enrolled in school boy, my wife and I set new life goals, leaving warm weather, beaches, job permanence and the security of a paycheck for unknown frontiers and challenges in the Wild and Wonderful Woodlands of the Monogahela National Forest. I aimed for self-employed pursuits, to grow and expand my other creative life objectives, art, design and old home renovation work.
I have attended and entered my work in only a few carving competition events, which include the Ward World Wildfowl Big Gig held each year in Ocean City, Maryland, having been selected 3 times amongst the top ribbon earners in my categories.
That said, however, I am not interested in carving for the sake of entering competitions or for accumulating ribbons and titles, as one would have to change his ways in order to meet the current trends in judgement criteria or to copy someone elses "techniques" or "taste".
My wood carvings are the complicated me and simply represent a perspective that I hope, show some of the grace and essence of the bird subject. No monetary reward can subtitute my birds of wood, they are all a unique effort that I will never be able to recreate in the same way again.
I reside with my wife in the beautiful and famous (Quiet Zone) town of Green Bank, located in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. This is the place I call home. Just don't believe anyone who tells you we are not "allowed" to have Internet, WiFi or Cellphones. (Our little boy grew up, went to college, graduated and is now gainfully employed by the USFS in Petersburg, AK)
Alex is engaged to Jenna and the wedding is set for Oct. 2017