Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm totally addicted

Uncle Dave Sturgil

Many years ago when the FoxFire Series came out, Dave Sturgil from Piney Creek, NC was featured as a maker of string instruments. We lived in Pennsylvania at the time and always vacationed with another family. We decided that we would camp the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our friend Joe Staahl played banjo and was very much into Foxfire. He was looking at a map one night after we had camped and realized that we were near Piney Creek and the home of Uncle Dave.

The next day we piled into our cars and drove to Piney Creek. Uncle Dave was very gracious and invited us into his shop to show his beautiful work. He was making twin violins for his daughters at the time. They were made out of curly maple and were identical.

Many years later after we moved to SC and I was writing and taking photographs as a freelancer, I remember Uncle Dave. I called him and made an appointment to see him for an interview. My husband went with me and we ended up staying the whole day. His wife made tomato sandwiches for us at lunch. He played several instruments for us. He played by ear and could not read music. My husband set up a tripod and took quite a few photos of Uncle Dave in black and white film. This is one of them.

I had so much to do today that did not include working on another portrait. I tried to ignore the desire/need to get in my studio and start on this piece. The portrait won out. About two o'clock I started with the cutting and had it finished by five just in time to meet friends for dinner and go to my quilt guild meeting.


  1. Marilyn, You are getting really good at this and you are inspiring me to, "get on with it!" I have several books of instruction on portraits, but just can't seem to start. You are helping me to conquer the fear.

  2. Wow, I can see real progress in your technique. This one is a stunner. I want to get to know this man! You have captured quite a wonderful expression. I haven't even tried this portrait approach but I doubt my first ones would ever be good enough to post.

  3. Thanks for the comments. My first one wasn't good enough to post either but I did. I've found so far that the more you do this the more you know what to put in and what to take out. Doesthis makes sense? Get over the fear and just tackle it.

  4. great work and congrats on the sale. What a great start to the year.

  5. i am also addicted to making faces. i made my first one in november using the same dvd and i can not stop. right now i want to try doing animals.

  6. I love this piece...has so much feeling to it...hope to see it in person...