Native American in Headdress by Kelsi Lytle
Medium: wood burned on basswood plank, with a touch of colored pencil, sealed with satin poly and ready to hang.
Year produced: 2020
This original hand drawn work has a double live edge creating a natural bark edged frame feel. This piece has already been equipped with hanging hardware.
Not available for shipping.
Contact-less delivery only in Albany, Saratoga, Rensslaer, & Schenectady County
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About the Artist:
I prefer a natural canvas as I usually find inspiration in nature; wildlife, repeating patterns like ferns and pine cones, synchronicity. I work in a variety of mediums but for this project titled “Native Americans & Animal Totems” I chose natural wood pieces with bark still attached, sustainably sourced from a family company in the USA. The visual elements are an incorporation of symbols inspired by tribal artwork accompanied by realistic portrait depictions.
Not everyone takes the time to pause and reflect on their ancestry, nor do many consider the animals – Do they even consider people they share their time alive with on earth? Are they quick to judge, or accepting of differing views? I want to invite people to take the time to look at art, perhaps even look into their own mind. Art can be a source of reflection, as well as a way to escape for the moment- a glimpse into a different perspective.
Each slice of wood has individual characteristics in grain pattern, overall shape or texture, hardness, I choose a piece that best fits the idea I have in mind… and even take time to incorporate any knots into the art design. I begin with a pencil sketch to block out my ideas for the layout of a new composition either directly onto the wood, or on a scrap piece of paper. At this point any adjustments may be made to better fit the piece of wood per the actual drawing. Once the basic idea has been set, I will begin wood burning with a hot, wire-tipped electric pen. I will check in with photo references to ensure recognizably of the subject matter.
The natural shades of the wood have a wonderful contrast when burned, from very dark to light values. This range in value creates a beautiful dynamic look, capable of bold harsh textured lines to fine detailed work, as well as soft, supple shading that can look almost three-dimensional. After the wood burning portion is complete, if the artwork calls for it, I will add highlights or color, sometimes mixing custom pigments as well as layering materials to achieve the final look. A few coats of satin poly seals the color and evens out the surface of the wood. I apply this on both sides to ensure longevity of the wood piece.