It is only natural that Barbara Scoles is our “Dragonfly Gallery Artist of the Month” for December, even though we love and admire her Santas all year round. Barb and I grew up together in the woodsy San Lorenzo Valley. Who knew that she would one day turn trees into Santas and green men? I asked her how she creates such beautiful Santas. Here is her answer.
Each piece takes about 40 to 60 hours. The primary wood I use is Basswood from the Linden tree and the paint is acrylic. Once the drawing is done, the real work starts. This is great fun to have chips flying and the Santa personality taking shape in solid form. The wood is band sawed to the proper size and then the large chisel's and mallet come into play. This is time-consuming and hard work. I am usually able to complete the entire piece out of a single piece of wood, and hide things in the carving for people to find later...
My husband has become involved with Sea Otters in the Monterey Bay. He has become an expert as he studies, photographs, and talks about the otters. It seemed natural that I would start adding them to my Santas. I love the result.
My favorite comment is when people say they never put their Santas away after the holidays. They become a part of the family and their home. My pieces are in private collections throughout the U.S. and Canada.
I love the 'Green man'. He is the original gift giver as he brought spring. He is one of the most frequently recurring and beautiful motifs of medieval art. Also known as God of the Woodlands, some think he represents the spirit of the trees and the green and growing things of the earth. Common among the oldest churches and cathedrals in Europe he is also referred to as the foliated mask.
Barbara is a true master of her craft. She researches, designs, carves and paints beautiful Santas—each one uniquely dressed, bearing gifts such as kittens, puppies, otters, birds, bears and toys.
Scoles invites you to visit the Dragonfly Gallery, 389 Blohm in Aromas, where you can see her creations on display, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10:00 to 4:00. The gallery will be open Fridays from 1:00 to 6:00 until December 21st for your shopping convenience.
Hand Carved Wooden Santas