Photo of Michael Willard

Michael Willard

Marquette, MI, United States

As a native of Michigan's U.P., I have always had a deep love for the natural splendors that it has to offer. This appreciation of nature extends to my home in Marquette, where both my wife and I are actively involved in bird watching and improving habitat to provide food and shelter for over 80 species of birds that frequent our property. My interest in birds, teamed with my lifelong love of woodworking, has brought about a desire to re-create what I observe in nature in the form of lifelike sculptures created in wood. I aspire to replicate, with the finest detail possible, wild birds and the habitat they frequent. Habitat is crafted from a mixture of woods and metals. Each undertaking is carefully finished with acrylic paints and hand-rubbed oils. A typical project requires 100 to 300 hours to complete. The "Moment of Truth" work took approximately 600 hours, over a three month period. The detail in my carvings requires thousands of fine cuts and burns. To achieve this level of detail, I prefer a wood known as Tupelo or Black Gum. I favor this wood because of its lack of resin and its fine, uniform, interlocking grain. Locally sourced woods, such as cedar, balsam and spruce are also used. Most of my attention is devoted to carving birds. However, I also enjoy doing other darlings of nature such as native wildflowers, prized mushrooms, and assorted small critters. With all of my endeavors, I never fail to recognize that nature is the real artist. My passion as a carver is to emulate nature's beauty in a pleasing and an enduring form.

Michael's ArtPrize Entries

These are Michael's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of Moment of Truth

    Moment of Truth

    2016 ArtPrize Entry Michael Willard
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Michael's Past Work

These are images of past work that Michael has done.

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