Deschutes Public Library News
Art Display in the Sunriver Area Public Library
Date Posted: 12/18/2003
WOODCARVER EXTRAORDINAIRE EXHIBITS AT THE SUNRIVER LIBRARY
Quail, herons, woodpeckers, loons, kingfisher, pelicans, owls, ducks, terns and eagles are just a few of the many birds that Oscar Spliid creates. And then there are the trout, hand-crafted out of Oregon native woods and washed with a unique patina that give the carvings a distinct finish. "I use an old-fashioned milk paint, the kind they used on tavern signs a hundred years ago," said Spliid. This exhibit at the Sunriver Area Public Library is open to the public January 10-March 5.
A native Oregonian and Renaissance man, former owner of Modern Kitchens in Eugene, realtor in Eugene and Camp Sherman, land developer, accomplished cartoonist, fly fisherman and golfer, Spliid, upon contemplating retirement, wanted a hobby to fill his time. While fishing the great rivers of Oregon, hunting the marshes and fields and exploring the coastal estuaries and bays, he became fascinated with the idea of capturing the beauty of nature in woodcarving.
His enjoyment not only comes from carving, sculpturing and painting, but from searches along the high country to ocean shores for native woods. "Through the years we have shoveled the sand from Seaside to Lincoln City," Oscar’s wife, Barbara, laughed. Then from sketches, photos and memory, he expresses his feeling as a wildlife artist and creates exquisite sculptures.
A weather vane with a rabbit or Canadian goose is quite distinctive. Wooden quail parade along a tree branch. A great blue heron flies against a copper sky. And the milk-paint finish ages so well that the vanes actually improve with weathering. Spliid creates both free standing pieces as well as pieces backed on copper or brass that are wall mounted.
Oscar and Barbara have always been active in their community. Spliid recently received the 2003 Exceptional Service Award from the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a state agency, for his work to improve the quality of life for residents at Bend Villa Court and Awbrey House.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Sunriver Area Public Library and is free and open to the public during regular library hours. Information: 312-1080