Tree Carving part 3

Over the Holidays I was able to get at least some work done. I recarved the entire upper left section of the tree giving it a more graceful sweep upwards. Originally this area looked too square and ‘blocky’ to my eye.  Also I got the remainder of the branch and leaves roughed in.  As the tree extends all the branches naturally get much thinner and the leaves change direction subtly. I wanted the end of the branch to appear a bit lighter and less bulky than the main area of the tree.

I also got the baby chicks in their nest.  Like my own children , one is chattering away calling for food or Mom and the other is quiet and sitting contentedly.

The adults have also been roughed into place. Here , Mom is looking back towards the nest with here babies and Dad is sitting on a branch all plumped up surveying his domain and keeping watch.

This family of birds housed in this tree sounds like my home at one time!


Here is the area that I recarved. It now sweeps more gracefully and isn’t as blocky looking to my eye.

IMG_3630Looking back across the arch of the branch where all the leaves have been roughed into place. About half way across this span is where the adult birds are sitting. The nest is very near the main trunk.


The end of the branch where the leaves and stems become lighter looking and change direction a bit.



The chicks sitting in their nest.


The adults with the Mother looking back towards the nest and the father looking out for them.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Otto
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 18:33:17

    Amazing as always Mark!
    I love the detail on the nest most of all I think.


  2. Doug
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 22:32:44

    I, too am loving this one. It’s wild to watch the forms emerge from the wood! And on such a large scale – everything is flowing so nicely, Mark.


  3. markyundt
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 01:23:05

    Otto,,, Doug,,, Thanks guys!
    I got quite a bit done today. Now that the nest and the adults are pretty much done it’s clear sailing on the leaves. Yeah,, there are quite a few of them but from here out they’ll go quickly. Something in this scale doesn’t need the fussy nit picking details of a small carving. Not that I’m going to slack or anything,, but it will go quick.
    Good thing too as I’m getting a ton of work backing up and the stuff coming will be just great. 20 inch Angel corbels,, legs, leaf on leaf arches, Rose medallions, Acanthus panels etc. all right up my alley. That’s just one job and there are more coming. Just thinking about it all makes me tired!


  4. dorisfiebig
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 10:11:47

    hi mark, happy new year! fantastic work to watch, i too love the nest, and how caring mom looks back to her kids 🙂 the nest looks very intricate, and reminds me on a crown i saw on a christ figure … are you planning to create around the nest altogether more detail? just wondering, because the details of the nest it self makes it stand out right now, where in real nests are usually more hidden, but of course there is lots of things to carve right around it. just curious… yes, i agree, the sweep is much nicer now. good work! all these leaves would make my head spinning, but here is not detail king, but to get the lines and shapes flowing so the right movement in the whole appears, the big movement is there 🙂


  5. markyundt
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 17:26:33

    Hi Doris. Happy New Year to you as well. Hope all is going well.
    The nest does in some way resemble the Crown I did for the Shroud piece. Not sure if that’s what you had in mind . Either that or as I said to my wife “It looks like a bunch of worms having an orgy” at this point. Once I eliminate the round look of the sticks after sanding it’ll look a bit better.

    In a piece such as this I don’t think the goal is to achieve the accuracy of nature as much as it is to stylize in such a way to have a presence and be on the edge of whimsical. A birds nest would be very hidden in a real tree but one of the objectives here is to have it be ,not so much a focal point, but to be viewed more easily and tell a quick tale. Even the leaves wouldn’t appear as I am making them but in a case such as this it works to an advantage. The size as well as the shape are compromised here as well but it reads well and tells the story at a glance.
    I would love to do something closer to what a tree actually looks like, except it would take close to a year of carving and the price would just be insane.
    I heard an interview just days ago with David Esterly who wrote a new book about being commissioned to re carve some Gibbons work that was destroyed. He said he ( David) could carve a perfect leaf duplicating one he found in his yard. But when he put it next to Gibbons carvings of leaves it fell far short. He noted that Gibbons didn’t carve a perfect leaf as found in nature but was able to accentuate certain details that in a carving made it say “leaf” more than a true reproduction of an actual leaf.
    Now I’m no Gibbons,, but the essential idea remains the same. In art , you can reproduce nature,, you really have to accentuate it to have it look right.


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