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Tom Beech
Kalamazoo Michigan

Artist Statement: 
“I work with wood because of its inherent beauty; the flow of its grain; soft, subtle colors; its generally forgiving nature.  When I can create an abstract sculpture that respects and reflects this inherent beauty, it's a gift, and sometimes a great surprise.

While I try to focus my abstract sculpture on gracefulness, calm and peace. The fish...well, they're another matter altogether! The shapes of the fish are often influenced by the grain of the wood, but mainly these fish are funny.  The colors, the toothy or toothless grins are expressions of silliness and whimsy, qualities that we frequently over look or ignore in our serious production-oriented society. Most of us experience silliness and whimsy as two doorways to happiness and fun.  When we are open to this part of ourselves, the load we've been lugging around gets a little lighter. The day feels a bit brighter.

Similar of fish we have had in our art gallery...please check for availability

Each sculpture begins as a block of wood...old and weathered or fresh from the sawmill...ash, birch maple, oak, cherry and other hardwoods. I usually start with a rough sketch, first on paper and then on the wood itself. The shaping process is a series of cuts with various hand tools, at first following the outline  I've drawn, but often the wood takes over and I follow the grain.  The rough shape is refined gradually until I like what I see...and then I let it be for a few days, before painting and sealing. And just like every moment of our lives, each sculpture is unique and special...sometimes influenced by another, but never the same.

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