The Folk Art of Greg Goul — Carvings, Inspiration, Nature, and Sketches.

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The Cardinal is the state bird of Indiana and six other states: Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Northern Cardinals breed 2-3 times each season. The female builds the nest and tends to the hatchlings for about 10 days while the male brings food. The male then takes over the care of this first brood while the female moves on to a new nest and lays a second clutch of eggs.

Cardinals are one of my favorite birds to carve. They are distinct and easy to recognize. This folk art bird carving of a Female Cardinal is carved from Basswood. I used milk paints, various stains, and techniques to age the carving. I photographed this carving last Fall in different settings and natural lighting conditions.

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Alright, so … there is no such thing. I have found that a majority of the photos that I take simply don’t turn out as expected, or at all, due to focus or color issues. I still think that many of the shots are interesting and have artistic merit. The images capture the idea or scene at its basic level. Simple shapes and color. Each month when I post Indiana nature photos, I try to develop a theme or style that works across the series and weed out images that don’t fit. The image below is in that category this month. I truly wish I had captured this Red-bellied Woodpecker in focus, however the subject is still distinguishable, even in it’s abstract appropriation.

Some of my favorite images have ended up in this category, and I guess it makes sense with the way I carve folk art birds and paint. No folk art piece is measured, anatomically accurate, or painted to look realistic. Recognizable and old-timey feeling, but that’s it. And that works for me.


Sturgill Simpson doesn’t fit today’s common image of a country singer. When he arrived for his NPR Tiny Desk Concert, the Kentucky native sauntered in sleepy-eyed, wearing jeans, a pair of old canvas tennis shoes, and a well-worn snap-down blue shirt. One of only two identical shirts he had in rotation while on tour. Days later, he and his band made an appearance on the Letterman Show, and Sturgill didn’t end up buying a suit to perform. Different kicks, but the same shirt.

Check out other NPR Tiny Desk Concerts by clicking here.

Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that, like blue, she never banishes it entirely from our eyes, but has created evergreens.

Henry David Thoreau, Nov. 8, 1858