wooden wonders, silly things, and many more miles…

Donald Keeney  |  1945-

Wooden Sculptures
San Angelo, TX
Donald once served as an illustrator with the Army during the Vietnam War, but I don’t think that can justly explain the true magnificence of his wooden sculptures.  Although his website describes his art as biblical in theme, it wasn’t what I expected.  Starting in 1991, he began these intricate wooden constructions.
He lives outside of San Angelo in a rural area with a lot of cats, a great dog, and apparently a large number of rattlers, which thankfully, I didn’t see.  Walking into his house, you  are immediately met by 2 enormous sculptures literally from floor to ceiling. Multi-layered, detailed, intricate…words can’t quite describe it.  Yes, his inspiration comes from the bible (he says he could spend a lifetime just working with imagery from Genesis alone), but it isn’t traditional.
Downstairs, 2 rooms are dedicated to his art.  Eqyptian nods are seen, with a pyramid-style noah’s ark. You can see his training as an illustrator when you look closely at the wooden cutouts, and by the notion that despite the overall dimensionality of his work, it is built in layers, flat cutouts, and applied in a painterly manner.  But trained to do this type of art?  No.  It is born of passion, a bit of obsession and a lot of talent.
Alley Oopland
Iraan, TX
After driving through some barren and amazing topography, we stop to stretch our legs and goof around.  Too bad that so much will be left on the editing room floor, but it would be prudent.
Paisano Pete
Fort Stockton, TX
Here Larry and I opted to skip the next segment of the show (with the guys heading outside of Marfa, TX to a fake Prada Store in the middle of nowhere) and instead headed on to Van Horn.  I needed to work on organizing all of my photos, and just stop for a minute.  But of course, best laid plans…missed the turn off to the hotel, and the next place to turn back was 11 miles away…in another time zone!  Soon enough, the guys were back and we had a great dinner at Chuy’s (the home of John Madden’s “Haul of Fame”)
Odometer: 1487
Cartunes: Bob Dylan’s Artist Choice, Joe Jackson, The Best of Old Time Country, Buddy Guy, Jayhawks