"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Carving Jonah and the Whale

It's been too long since I've picked up a carving knife. Too much worry was consuming me. It was time to work with my hands again. But, as many artists will tell you, half the battle is being inspired. Carving Jonah and the Whale was the last thing I'd ever thought I'd carve!
Once inspired, my hands automatically went into motion.
I used 2" basswood for the whale and carved him 11 1/4" long.
While trying to determine the color of the whale, I remembered a thin sheet of copper Ted had given me. Its age gave it a beautiful patina. These would make perfect fins for the massive mammal and I'd paint the rest of the beast to match.
Poor Jonah! I knew I wanted to have a man inside struggling to get out, but at 2 1/2", carving him wouldn't be so easy. It took a very delicate hand, but I got the look I was going for. Jonah's on his stomach, propped up on his right hand, while his left arm stretches out as if trying to grab hold of something.
Once Jonah was carved and painted, I adhered him to the inside of the whale's mouth. The large teeth act as prison bars.
The base is made out of two old pieces of wood that I attached. The red paint is original and has a weathered folk art feel.
Brass wire acts as water shooting through the whale's blowhole.
It never ceases to amaze me how something as primitive as carving a piece of wood can bring such peace to my mind.
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I shall give you rest." Ain't it the truth?!


  1. Hi Jill! You know there are so many of us in this community who play at crafting, but you create art. This wonderful sculpture is something that will become more valuable over time because of it's beautiful capture of true Americana Folk Art. You are something!

  2. You are amazing!! What a work of art....ya gotta enter this in some kind of contest or art display.....love the brass water.....feels good to get back to your craft, can stay away only so long.....hugs...cleo

  3. That is amazing. Really beautiful. Love the water and love Jonah in his mouth!