John Butt is a Canadian artist born in 1946 in Toronto, Ontario. The artist has lived in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and presently resides in White Rock, British Columbia since graduating studies in Fine Art in 1974 at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, Alberta. Past works have been exhibited in various galleries in Calgary and Vancouver area art galleries. Many paintings and sculptures are in private collections across Canada and the United States.
It is widely accepted that inspiration comes from within, and stimulation from that which surrounds us. With the artist confronted by a blank canvas, or in the case of sculpture, a solid block of stone or wood…the stimulation is very much present. From within the natural growth of the wood block, remain the forces of it’s own time and presence. Now cut and presented as the artists medium, it yields up it’s tendencies of grain and tensions as an inspiration to the sculptor. Depending on the nature of the piece to be worked on, these inner forces in fact translate into chisel cuts by the artist that must be responsive to the twists and turns that this medium will present.
In the case of more “constructive” pieces of wood, stone, or metal can be manipulated in the same way that a painting will take shape on a canvas. Most often…the medium of wood will strongly suggest on “inspire” the images found in nature. The human figure can be imagined or actually seen in the live growth of a tree and it’s limbs. It is not surprising then that when cut and offered to the sculptor as a workable material, the human form will emerge.
The malleable quality of certain cedars are best used in suggesting the soft, smooth flesh of head and shoulder for instance, while a much harder fruitwood is supportive as the more solid torso or pedestal.
Combined with found objects and other compatible materials, the wood and stone sculptures I have made, represent to me the fulfillment of inspiration. It is the hope of every artist to in some way provide the stimulus in a viewer, to also feel the forces within these works of art.