wildfowl-carving.com

My Blue Period

You've never seen a ruddy duck like this before. Guaranteed.

By: Daniel Montano

Updated April 25, 2017

Daniel Montano started carving in 1987 when he was in National City Junior High School in San Diego County. He is known for his palm frond carvings and feather work. Since first picking up an airbrush back in high school in 1990, the airbrush has become his tool of choice. He paints with acrylics and uses tupelo.

Two months before the 2016 Ward World Championship, I wasn’t even sure if I would attend. Time was running out, the pressure was on, and I just couldn’t narrow down my ideas and begin my world interpretive entry. An array of concepts filled my head. They all seemed great and worth executing. But there was always one that I kept going back to, one that I had in my mind since high school—a Cubist ruddy duck.

I’ve followed the world interpretive category through the years, starting when the pieces were strictly wood and stain, natural slabs of wood and tree trunks turned into wonderful works of art. The contour lines of each piece grabbed my attention, and I always thought to myself, “If they could just add a little bit of color!” Because color is everything to me. As the years went by, artists began doing more with color. The pieces became more interpretive, more abstract, and more colorful. Ashley Gray and Jeff Krete did full-blown painted sculptures, so I figured it was time.

Color was a must for me, but I was very worried that my cubist interpretation would prove to be too much for everyone. A blue, Cubist ruddy duck chopped up into geometric shapes was an absurd idea, or so I thought. But the rules said the entries should provoke thought and wonder, and so I began. Love it or hate it, I was going to enter a piece that was appealing to the eyes but also provided a lot to think about. I was going to take this difficult piece that I had stored in my mind and finally transform it into a modern piece of wood sculpture.

This article is from the Spring 2017 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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