Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hubby brag: Tim the Carver.

An article came out about my hubby today that had (almost) nothing to do with pit bulls. Almost! We can't get away from them completely. The sfgate piece was about what Tim calls his "real job."

SFGate

Some may know that Tim is a wood sculptor and he's usually creating dog portraits in between his never-ending duties with BR, but you may not know that when he first told me that he wanted to carve dogs for a living, I broke down and cried. ("You want to do WHAT? How will we survive? - Sob")

Then again, I have a feeling Tim may have wanted to cry when I told him we were going to start a pit bull advocacy group. Ha! Oh blissful ignorance.

Our girl Sally was his first model. Like so many pit bulls, it's hard not to marvel at her gorgeous body - especially for a trained artist like Tim who has a keen appreciation for form. He chased her around for days on end when he decided to carve her, studied and measured every nuance of her frame, then he got to work. Once his carving was done, it was pretty clear that he'd found his medium, and that I didn't have to cry anymore.

He still struggles to get his "real work" done though; each piece takes up to 700 hours to complete, and those hours are usually spent very late in the evening, long after the phones have quieted and BR's work is done. With all the recent pit bull-related dramas and demands, that means he's usually only able to get two to three pieces done a year. Although he's hell bent on increasing his numbers in 2010 ... Once the barn is ready and the dog fight busts slow down just a wee bit, that is. Riiight. Like our Pit Ed classes, there's a wait list for Tim's art and he's always a little bit stressed about keeping a healthy balance. Such is life, eh?

Photo below; Anne Truitt



Then there are always the foster dogs who live nearly full time in his shop and bring a mix of big fun and major frustration. They help themselves to wood chip chew toys and run zoomies around his workbench. He's gotten used to setting his chisels down to wipe up pee or to mitigate a rowdy play session. And no, so far nobody's been accidentally stabbed by a sharp chisel, although that always amazes me considering the mix of rowdy dogs and sharp carving tools in a relatively tight space. Occasionally the dogs do something really naughty though, like steal an important drawing and turn it into confetti. Those are the days that we get really reeeally excited about watching the barn's (slow but steady) construction progress, altho even when the barn is up and running, I'm betting there will always be a dog in Tim's shop, at least for a small part of the day.

Right: This is a carving of Jane Berkey's girl Petal. Painted by the inimitable artist, Pam Hessey

I was peacock proud when this article came out about Tim as the artist rather than Tim the pit bull guy. It feels great to see him appreciated for his other, artsy fartsy side. Yep, that's my guy.

Here's Tim's website for more peeks at his late night creations.

31 comments:

Luisa said...

OMG, I'm swooning with lust...! [Over the carvings. Though Tim is a cutie ;~)]

I've been fantasizing about my own carousel of dogs since I first saw the BARK article about his work. Wonderful that Tim is getting the recognition he deserves.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

I had seem you rocking dog on your sight before and lusted after it, but had no idea it's creator was right there!! I have always wanted a coarousel horse of my own, even though I have absolutely no place for one, so I too, am oooohh-ing and aaawww-ing my way through Tim's site

Jo said...

These are just breath-taking! Wonderful! I hope you don't mind but I put up a blog post about this one and Tim's work.

Pibble said...

Beautiful. You can feel the strength of the dogs' muscles through his carvings. And the folds around the mouth - just amazing. I don't have a scrap of artistic talent in me, so it always astounds me when a sculptor can take a block of anything and transform it into the image they see in their mind.

And I love the photo in the workshop. The dog in the photo looks like she's ready to help!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Absolutely Stunning!!!

cre8vekaos said...

I covet! Oh, how I covet! There are no more words.

Coveting in VA,
Leila

Linda said...

Wow, Tim! I had no idea. Your work is incredible. Someday maybe I can have you do my boy Jack, who currently is battling lymphoma. He's always been such a handsome boy and he's the love of my life! (www.leaningdog.com)

I looked through the pictures of your work and the first thing that popped to mind is: Nelly. I would LOVE to see a carving of that beautiful face as a tribute to her life.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

The realism of the carvings is incredible. The photo of Sally next to her carving....amazingly beautiful.

I'm impressed you can finish ANY of these incredible works, considering all of the dog-related activities with which you are constantly involved.

Please let me know when you're next at Asilomar -- my backyard!

s&b/mty

Dianne said...

Some time ago, I had googled Tim and found his web site and seen the pictures of his work. Growing up in DC we had an impressive carousel at Glen Echo, now on the mall, and I always admired the work. Good of you to brag and be proud! He's quite impressive! I've also observed that this artistic streak is present in others who do animal rescue... wonder if there's a connection in the brain somewhere.
checkout
http://www.scotlundhaisley.com/

Dianne said...

Just in case Tim is a carousel know it all ... I googled some more and found out: Glen Echo Park is a Dentzel menagerie carousel that was installed in 1921. It's still at Glen Echo Park and has been fully restored starting in 1983 and completed in 2003! And its way more impressive than I even remembered.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the artist and his work are quite fantastic indeed, but reading your words of pride, caused me to giggle! So very cute in my opinion!

Lynn in N.Cal

Tim said...

Thanks for all the kudos. I just can't seem to get away from those dang dogs no matter what. Even in my sleep - I had a wonderful dream after Simon died about all these Huskies flying through the air with flocks of Albatrosses. One by one the Huskies dove down towards the earth.

I took plenty of photos of Nelly in case I ever have the time to at least do a bust of her beautiful head. I hope at some point I find the time to do so - I'll certainly post photos if I do.

I am very familiar with Gustave Dentzel's work Dianne and have had several of his menagerie pieces in my studio to restore, including a cat with a fish in his mouth and an ostrich that you would have to see in person to appreciate it's fine feather detailing.

Jack would make a fine subject. The first six commissions I received were all mixed breed dogs, every one after has been a full breed. We've always owned a couple of each. He must be Akita with who knows what - hound? I hope he is doing okay.

Tim said...

Oh, and thanks for the blog post Jo!

Anonymous said...

At first glance the carvings look real. If I could ever afford it, I'd totally get one. I'd use it as a guard dog, cause atleast the artwork wouldn't show the robbers where to look for the goodies.

Also gotta love a man who brings dogs to work. You snagged a great one. My boyfirend has brought his dog to work everyday for the last 14 years and has recently been taking my guys in aswell as my new job does not allow it (i need to get another new job!). They wreak havoc in the shop, but so far haven't been hurt or banned. Great story!

Pam said...

While reading this posting (and the previous one about Phatman), it strikes me that you have an artistic talent of your own, Donna: you are one heck of a good writer. So glad that you both have a creative outlet to balance out the gutwrenching heartwork of working to make this world a better place for pitties. Balance keeps us on course, for sure.

jo said...

Tim's work is fantastic and Donna is an amazing writer. Her blog on Vick and the swimming pools was so moving partly because it was restrained and so well written. Bad Rap is incredibly effective and small -- I watch my heroes from a distance, learn and marvel at the courage, heart, intelligence and strength.

J.M. said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Shanda said...

I still have the copy of The Bark from 2003 I think that featured Tim's stellar work...it's the same issue as the first "Smiling Dog" segment, which Ruadh was in. I remember showing the article to my other half at the time, saying "I want this instead of a ring, 'kay?" LOL

Tim, you are truly gifted craftsman and artist and Donna, you are a lucky woman and right to be so proud :) Blessings to you both

leigha said...

beautiful work! gorgeous absolutely gorgeous.

leigha said...

the work on tim's site is amazing. what a wonderfully talented artist.

Dianne said...

Wow, Tim that is awesome! The Glen Echo carousel had ostriches, rabbits or hares (which I remember cause I thought it odd), a deer, a tiger (which I think I rode on at about age 6). I have put it on my list of things to do after the spring thaw and will check out the ostriches!

Lynn (in Louisiana) said...

Back when Hector, Frodo and the others first came to CA I remember y'all linking an article from (I think) the LA Times. In the article they mentioned Tim's work and included a photo of a carving of Sally. I think it was a small rocking horse. Anyway, I commented then how magnificent it was and am thrilled to now see other work. Wow. Just wow.

In that same article I think I recall mention that you Donna, are a "found item" artist??? I'd love to know more about that!

I feel lucky to have met you both, even it it was for only a few minutes!

Donna said...

Thanks for being such a gracious and supportive audience of our "other" life. It's been important to everyone in the group to keep an identity that's removed from BR, especially since the dog work can take over if aren't careful, as most of you know from your own dog work!

Maybe we need to do a blog on the other lives of pit bull rescuers. There are so many fascinating people working with pit bulls that have cool non-dog related hobbies and jobs.

Here's my work, Lynn. Oh boy do I need to update this website though. Most of this stuff is oldy moldy!

http://www.lindgrensmith.com/search/racer/

PBOforlife said...

I'm so glad you posted that. I went to Tim's site. I was absolutely blown away by his talent. AMAZING. I love the BADRAP blog. Keep up the great work!
Diana

PoochesForPeace said...

Wow, that's amazing! You've got one special guy :)

Martha said...

what talent from both of you - and Tim is from Detroit - what is it about pit bulls and artists? For me the dogs provide much needed balance, get me out of the studio and out of my head - keep it up, both of you!

Linda said...

Hey Tim! Thanks for commenting on my earlier notes about my dog, Jack, with lymphoma. We're not sure what breed he is... he was dumped in the desert and left to fend for himself 9 years ago. Was attacked by coyotes and was starving when a co-worker picked him up. He'd been out there at least a week or more in cold December. We think he's part Border collie... maybe some Aussie. Actually the older he gets, the more "labby" he is in size, temperment and general happiness. He LOVES everyone, loves the water, and has NO bad habits! We did the cheek-swab DNA test and laugh heartily at the results. It said he's 50/50 Border collie and.... GREYHOUND! Yeah, right. Don't think so. We just know he's our Jack. The website has a semi-daily blog of his treatment and status if anyone is interested in following along on our lymphoma journey. www.leaningdog.com

Clara Yori said...

I LOVE Tim's work. I remember seeing the carving of Sally years ago, before I knew who Tim and Donna were. I emailed Tim about it because I thought it looked so much like Wallace. I can FEEL how much work and dedication goes into each piece. It's inspiring!

Jen Clarke said...

Holy Moly, those are incredible.

NYCKitten said...

I had no idea Tim did this! Wow - those pieces are brilliant. I absolutely love them - I can't even imagine the patience it takes... kudos Tim.

Aneil said...

Those are gorgeous! I'm new to your blog but just had to let you know how nice the carvings are. Thanks for posting!