Dan McArdle

In 1991 I bought a rusty truck for a hundred dollars. I pointed it west and headed to Montana. I had enrolled in the the Fine Art department at The University of Montana in Missoula. After living in the west for a while, I ended up graduating with a degree in being poor and roughing it, and a BA in botany.

Before that, as a kid growing up in New York State, I spent a lot of time outside in the woods and a lot of time drawing on paper. Looking back now, I guess that hasn’t changed all that much. Seems like if I’m not working in the studio, then I’m hopefully walking the Little Blackfoot with a fishing pole, backcountry skiing near the Great Divide, or mountain biking with family and friends in the South Hills of Helena, Montana.

These days I carve on wooden panels, using steel hand tools. These woodcarving panels are made of glued assemblages of boards which are carefully chosen to have matching grain. The panels present a carving surface that is consistent in color, like a blank canvas. Some carvings have a frame attached around the perimeter, but most of them show the carved edge of the wood. Most of the panels are about 1” thick and have a handy slot in the back for hanging on a wall.

I color my carvings with water based wood dyes and I apply them with a paintbrush. The dyes are layered, mixed and partially sanded off, in a process that is both intentional and experimental. It is extremely fun. 

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