"My work is an absolute joy. I'm free to create designs of whatever impulse that fires me up. Most of my creations are a reflection of my time spent observing wildlife beneath the west Texas sky. The wild wood I find is the starting point of each piece of work. Most of my designs are based on empirical knowledge of nature, however, my new venture has given me the freedom to occasionally step away from the reality of the natural world. I believe there is little difference in my real-life creations and my fantastical creations. Whether real or illusionary is only important to those with limited imaginations.
The Keeper is Mother Nature's guardian of everything she creates and cherishes. In 1984, I was sitting in the Cadillac Bar, a mandatory stop for any deer hunter passing through Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. My destination was Villaldama, Mexico to hunt the great white tails of the Sabinas River flats. I had a few Ramos Gin Fizz drinks and good bull from other hunters, then I hit the road for Villaldama. An hour after leaving Nuevo Laredo, I pulled into a parking lot of a 24-hour gas station to take a little nap. Some forty years later, I can still recall the details of the dream I had while sleeping in my 1976 Ford 150 Truck. I was standing in a clearing centered with a huge fire that reached to the sky. The great fire was surrounded by the great war chiefs of the ancient tribes that survived off the land, while taking from the land what they needed for survival and nothing more. The fire intensified, I backed and the fire suddenly went out and a perfect peace filled the clearing when the Keeper appeared. The Keeper stood proud and majestic, but there was a sadness in his eyes. The Keeper (A monster whitetail buck) then flexed his muscles, his headdress began to shine and his horns fired streaks of light skyward. Without making a sound, the Keeper's message was clear: "There is limited natural habitat remaining on earth. The human invasion that is destroying my wildlife home will lead to the end of everything."
Howling at the Moon
Every person has the freedom to "Howl at the Moon," and the silver wings will appear when the Howl is legitimately in good faith. In human form, "Howling at the Moon" comes from despair or delight. "Howling at the Moon' spontaneous outburst can occur when your football team loses to your hated rival or in the event you make a "Hole in One." For Junior High Boys, a "Howling at the Moon" moment comes along when at a Rainbow Dance, you ask a girl to dance, and she says, "yes!" and all the other Junior High Boys are watching. "Howling at the Moon" just for fun is good for the soul and lifts spirits, but silver wings will not appear. My wife and I saw the Rolling Stones about 6 months ago--Mick and the Boys played for two hours like 25-year-olds--now that is something to "Howl at the Moon" about!!
$295 41"[H] x 35"[W]
Through the Looking Glass
This old and enchantingly beautiful wooden treasure had rested on the ground in the same place for years and years. What small animals had stopped and stared through the hole in the wood? Could, by chance, a white "Rabbit" have stopped and seen “Alice" Through the Looking Glass? Maybe the "Dormouse” hid in the log and through the looking glass watched the "Jabberwocky come wiffling through the tulgey." What if the "Cheshire Cat" joins the "Dormouse" and they celebrate as the "Jabberwocky burbled out of sight."They chortled "O'frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogroves and the mome raths outgrabe." Nonsensical Magic is Real “Through the Looking Glass.” -Regards to Lewis Carroll-
$295 22"[H] x 45"[W]
The Golden Horn Buck
This is a Kaleidoscope image of colors I've witnessed under the wild West Texas sky, however, none of the colors compare to the Golden Horn Buck. An ice storm had raged all night, but by morning the clouds had moved on, and the sun rose to a crystal clear sky and an ice-covered earth. I was walking a ridge when a flash of light caught my eye. A beautiful 10-point buck, his horns covered with about a 1/2-inch coat of ice was walking along about 200 yards below me. The buck stopped, turned his head, and when he did his horns turned a brilliant gold color and then a golden starburst created a momentary flash of gold. I've walked many miles on the great ranches of West Texas, and this was the most amazing and breathtaking sight I've ever seen.
40"[H] x 48"[W]
This is one of the most exquisite wooden logs that I have found, and when I added a couple of layers of lacquer to it, it really came to life. The giant shed horn came from a ranch near the community of Calf Creek in South Western McCulloch County. For central Texas the horn is extremely heavy and very rare, I found this horn in the spring of 1973 and the rain records show plentiful rainfall in the fall and spring. Fifty years ago, there was no supplemental feeding for deer, so this horn is the result of what old fashion natural food can produce. The pheasant rode the winds of an arctic cold front to come to Texas and donate his feathers, and the turkey resided in McCulloch county near the San Saba River.
$295 32"[H] x 32"[W]
The Mystical War Eagle
This Majestic Eagle represents what is good in this world. He only takes what he needs to survive. He is pure of heart. He lifts our spirits when we share the freedom. he feels when he flies.
$795 31"[H] x 43"[W]
The Colossal Buck
The horns featured in this arrangement are some of the heaviest I’ve ever seen that were not raised in a pen. I never saw this buck in the pasture so I can’t tell anyone how huge the horns must have looked. One thing I am sure of is that this old buck must have felt extraordinarily lightheaded after the horns fell off. The horns score a little over 200, and that is extremely rare for a typical 10-point buck.
$600 49"[H] x 43"[W]
The “Beast” is the very essence of a mystical creature that is alive and looking right at you. The naturally horned creature has great facial features- eyes, nose, perfect jaw bone, ears, and of course horns. When I walked up on the “Beast” he lay silently on the ground and, of course, I was thrilled but then realized I was about ¼ mile from my truck. I never drive in the pasture land because the tires damage that vegetation. So I had only one option- pick the big boy up and carry him to my truck. I spotted a mesquite tree about 25 yards in the direction of the truck- I picked the “Beast” up and made it to the mesquite tree, rested the big boy in a fork of the tree. With the assistance of about 15 mesquite trees, I made it to the truck and loaded the “Beast” in the truck. Mother nature’s creations make my job easy-. A few feathers and nature’s own decorative flora- and the “Beast” has come to life and is looking at you and wondering what you’re doing in his kingdom.
$750 40"[H] x 46"[W]
The Giant Typical Non-Typical
The giant shed horns were found on a local ranch near Brady. The goal of each of my creations is to do justice to whatever Mother Nature allows me to discover. The lower section is a simple merger of unique old wood that just blended together. The deer-like face, I pick up on one of the ranches that I’m lucky enough to have permission to “hunt” for anything that is singularly rarified. The giant horns score well over 200 and are obviously non-typical, however, are very symmetrical. I am so fortunate to have a hobby that keeps me busy and that I love doing at 76 years old.
$595 40"[H] x 36"[W]
Battle of the Beams
The two horns are not shed horns, they are main beams broken off as a result of two bucks fighting. During the rutting season and before, the buck will rub their horns on trees and do this vigorously. This builds up the neck and shoulder muscles. The bucks do this for strength for fighting and to appear bigger and stronger to entice the ladies. Most buck fights I've witnessed and video taped are between mature bucks four to six years old. The fights are extreme and last from 30 seconds to three minutes. The fights are intense but are a battle for dominance and are not a fight to the death. However, rarely a buck is injured severely, but not often. The reason for the lengthy discussion is to make everyone aware that deer do fight but only as a measure of strength and dominance. The other reason is that it is very, very rare that a buck has a main beam snapped off during a fight. These beams are from four to five years old bucks, and the beams are from 3 1/2 to 4 inches in circumference. It takes tremendous force and torque to break a main beam off. The two horns in the arrangement are the only broken main beam horns I've discovered, while at the same time, I've found hundreds of shed horns. Once again, the lengthy explanation is to show how rare these two horns are.
$295 33"[H] x 22"[W]
Giant Texas Dragon Fly
The Giant Texas Dragonfly In 1982, I was competing in the Labor Day Golf Tournament at San Felipe Country Club in Del Rio. On hole number six, I hooked my tee shot deep into the left woods. Luckily, I found my golf ball, which has lying next to a piece of wood resembling a Giant Dragonfly, I hit a shot toward the green, picked up the wooden creature, won the match, and finished runner-up in the tournament. I returned to Brady with two trophies, one for golf and one that would, forty years later, become the focal point of this creation that portrays the Giant Texas Dragonfly secluded in the lush green surroundings of the vegetation supported by the waters of the San Felipe Springs.