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Sculptures highlight Orland art show
Aquatic life and the world of people and animals living along Sacramento River waterways are the focus of the May art show at the Orland Art Gallery.
The exhibit called “Above and Below the Water’s Flow” features the work of two Northern California artists in different mediums.
Michael Buelna of Orland and Bob Miller of Sacramento will display their works through May 26 at the gallery, 732 Fourth St.
The show is open Tuesday-Saturday, 1-7 p.m.
Buelna’s carved wooden fish and waterfowl provide both a whimsical -yet realistic look at creatures living in the river or under the sea.
They are colorful and pretty, but also look quite life like.
His primary interest is woodcarving competition shows throughout the United States, Buelna said, an interest that began in the late 1970s.
He said he attended a few such shows at that time and that sparked his desire to do carving as an art form.
Buelna carved with a group of other people, he said, and soon realized there was nice income coming from carved waterfowl pieces.
They included ducks, geese, quail, shore birds and “anything that had feathers,” he added.
However, today he is doing fish and turtles along with the birds.
A turtle is his favorite piece in this show, Buelna said, which won Best of Show honors in March at the California Association of Taxidermy’s Western States Championship in Sacramento.
While the turtle is carved from wood, it was entered in a special category at that show that allows for reproduction figures.
He spent five months carving the turtle and also spent considerable time researching its history and look, Buelna said.
Most of his carvings are made from jelutong wood from Asia, he said. The bases are done in black walnut.
His fish carvings began in 2003 following his retirement as a State Fish and Game warden, Buelna said.
He explained the carving competitions help him improve the quality of his carvings and “gives me new ideas.”
They also provide opportunities to change and correct things in his work, Buelna said.
His advice to beginning woodcarvers is to “get with others who are doing it.”
He added “We all make mistakes, but if you get with people who are doing that some mistakes don’t re-occur.”
Miller is well known in Sacramento as a graphics artist and paints in watercolor and acrylics.
His paintings include scenes from Orland, Hamilton City, Mount Shasta, Red Bluff, Redding and around Sacramento itself.
He describes the Sacramento River as “Northern California’s lifeline, supporting an ecosystem of plants and animals that enhances our daily lives and nourishes the valley” in statement on his work.
Miller explained the subjects of the sketches and paintings on display are “places and things that I found interesting as I journeyed along the River’s banks.”
He also has a map at the gallery so visitors can locate where the scenes are located. Each sketch and painting is numbered to correspond with the map.