Many of my favorite folk artists carve in Bas Relief. Flat boards, chisels, and gouges. Something I haven’t tried just yet. Not sure if it’s due to lack of tools, time, space, or vision … but I’ll eventually get there and run out of excuses. Hopefully in the Spring, I’ll get my outdoor studio set up to get this going.
Anyways, the above clip is about Key West artist Mario Sanchez. Sanchez worked quietly, creating his art at his home in “Mario’s Studio Under the Trees,” as designated by a hand-painted sign nailed to a mango tree. For over 70 years, he carved and painted scenes of Key West on boards of pine and cedar. His style as a self-taught artist describes the simple life and the activities that he remembered as a child growing up in Key West: flying kites, spinning tops, parades, neighborhood characters, and passing the time rocking on front porches. His memory of events was precise and he often explained that he could not carve a scene that was not accurate because “you can’t just invent history.” During his career, Mario produced over 600 paintings and woodcarvings.
My favorite quote from the complete documentary on the Folkstreams.net site is “I know that my modest art isn’t any good, but it pleases, and it pleases others.” I hope my art does the same. Please take 14 minutes to learn more about this amazing artist, Mario Sanchez: Painter of Memories.