While the two wood artists featured in this exhibition never met, their art objects stand well together to show how pieces executed by wood turning, wood working, and wood carving can reveal beauty and expertise in execution.
The art of the late Robert Leroy Holmes of Mequon, WI (1934 – 2018) reveals his wide-ranging skills with wood turning on a large lathe and wood working using a variety of machines and tools. Holmes explored numerous woods to reveal their natural characteristics and defects. In his 40 years of working with wood, Holmes became more aware of wood art in global cultures, and he moved back and forth between turning and wood working. In particular, the creation and tuning of wooden tongue drums is a closely guarded special skill that he mastered. Love for vein inlay materials and wood dyeing also add unique dimension to numerous objects he created. With functional vessels, bowls, peppermills, kaleidoscopes, pens, bracelets, or objects of sheer beauty, mastery of technique was paramount for Robert Holmes while touches of embellishment added artistic distinction.
A long-time fascination with the natural beauty of waterfowl led Robert Budecki of Cedarburg into a passion of carving and painting a variety of life-like waterfowl. Over the past twenty years Budecki has honed his artistic talent and technical skills studying with world-acclaimed carving artists Pat Godwin, Keith Mueller, Gary Eigenberger and Shaun Minadier at week-long workshops. Budecki works primarily with tupelo wood and paints with acrylic or oil paints and is known for his attention to detail and accurate renditions of wildfowl as well as for the creative vision presented in his pieces. He’s motivated to create for only himself, and while Budecki has been honored with prestigious, national awards for his detailed, naturalistic renderings of waterfowl, his recent explorations and challenges move beyond wildfowl to reveal similar skills in carving and painting song birds and floral, fish, or butterfly subjects.