Maple in Red and Black

Maple in Red and Black

gourd – hand carved (no power tools) and painted

My grandmother had a few dried gourds at her house and as a boy I thought they were pretty neat.  I knew nothing about gourds but that childhood memory led me to do some investigating after I took an interest in art.  I bought a pack of seeds and that was the beginning of a whole new adventure.  My first attempt at growing them was hugely successful and I had more gourds than I knew what to do with.  Once again, experimentation and trial and error were the rules to live by.  Some of the first pieces I sold were carved gourds and that was a tremendous confidence booster.

Interest in other mediums led me away from carving gourds and it remains a small part of my work but I think I will always have a penchant for them.  They are unique in that you can be a part of the process from seed to finished art.

This original piece is available and, as always, feedback is appreciated.

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Rick Hooper

About Rick Hooper

My journey began in the rural South where the woods served as my playground and my imagination was my best friend.  Some would call me a “late bloomer” since I did not take up art until I was approaching the end of my military career.  Sometimes it seems that art has chosen me and I can’t separate it from the other aspects of my life, not that there is any reason to try.

I am an experimenter and truly believe this to be the best way to advance.  Some ideas work and some do not.  The trick is learning to enjoy the successes and not be stonewalled by the ugly ducklings.  Art is an experiment.  It is an adventure.  It is a fascinating journey.

I learned how to do custom framing while in the Marines and enjoyed it so much that it became a sideline business.  After framing cool artwork for others, I thought it might be fun to try and do my own.  And that was that.  After retiring I had a gallery and custom frame shop but found that running a business single-handedly left precious little time for creating.  I am now a full-time artist and part-time framer and I have found this to be much more enjoyable.  Framing truly is an art unto itself and I put as much care into the packaging as I do the product.