Wednesday, February 3

Fishing Season Swimming Upon Us...

I can’t seem to stop thinking about spring being right around the corner. Spring is my favorite season. I love the sun warming the earth and coaxing forth the fertile earth, and tender shoots of flowers and grass to come. I love the feel of excitement n the air after winters blanket is pulled back, and thrown off. I love to watch the ice migrate closer and closer to the shoreline on our mountain lakes until it eventually disappears. Little bugs begin to flutter on the heady, musty breeze, and then I know it is time to fish. I often ponder which I enjoy more, painting or fishing? Both to me are an art form, and both bring me immense peace.

It was the yearning for fishing season that led me to discover today’s Artist. I had goggled “fish” to see what might come up. There I was struck by incredibly colorful, graceful metal sculptures of Mark Noll. So you know what I had to do! Today then I bring you, Mark Noll of ...

Nature Art Studios.

Mark lives in the wonderful and rustic Kings Valley, in Oregon. He lives there with his wife of 25 years, and his three teenage sons. They are a family with a keen affection for creativity. His wife avidly quilting, oldest son gardening and photography, middle son a talented guitarist and his youngest son creating mixed media sculptures, working mainly with Legos. Having all the creative energy bustling in his busy house is one of the things that inspire Mark the most. He is pictures here with his youngest son, Justen. Over at their studio Natures Art on Etsy you can see some of Justens work as well, and my guess is in years to come he may just land himself as a talented artist here on the bumpkin blog.

I asked Mark to tell us a bit about his process, workspace and techniques: “The metal nature sculpture is made from a sheet of solid copper, brass, or aluminum. First, I draw the rough shape on the metal and cut it out with aviation snips. Chisels, punches, hammers, and mallets bring the form to life.

After polishing the surface with ultrafine steel wool, I etch it with a patina solution or wipe on an antiquing wax. Finally, the piece is sprayed with a clear coat to preserve the colors and finish.

I use a blend of tools from traditional metalworking, autobody work, and wood working. To cushion and deaden the hammer blows, my workbench is lined with a thick piece of rubber horse stable matting and my tool handles are wrapped with soft foam.”

He certainly knows what he is doing. Mark has only been at metal sculpting for a little over a year, but the experimentations with color and texture are remarkable. It is no wonder then that the interest in his work has mushroomed in the last year. He is unable to predict just how this will continue in the future, when I asked about his goals. Mark enjoys private requests and commissions and has been concentrating heavily on filling the needs of his customers. Having that personal connection with them is why he believes buying handmade is so important in our society today.

He started selling online after reading in a newspaper about Etsy. He started with only custom requests to build up a reputation and get a few sales under his belt. He has since expanded and has a fully loaded shop, Natures Art Studio on Etsy as well as a few items on Artfire. Eventually Mark hopes his metalwork will sustain him during the transition from working man to retirement. With his work in several galleries stretching from MN to OR , Mark has plans ro place is work in several others.

His affinity for great works, his wonderful attitude, and desire to improve will vault Mark to the top. His advice to other artists? “Keep doing your art because you love to do it. Earning money is a bonus. Keep learning and trying different techniques. The more you do the better you get.” I look at his work and wonder, is there room to improve? It is absolutely stunning. I know I will be checking back often to sere how he does manage to improve on these flawless beautifies!

Be sure to wander over to Nature Art Studios. While your there don’t forget to take a look at some of Justen’s work as well!

Thanks for reading y'all!
The Bumpkin

On a side note....
Huckleberry Bumpkin Studios on Artfire ahs been nominated for the top 10 newcombers studtion... I would love it if you could take a few minutes, pop over to the polls and give me (or another worthy store) a vote!!!! Thanks guys!

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