A most unexpected animal has come to live in our quiet neighborhood (I swear,it really is usually very quiet...). This particular animal species is not found in Indiana...except at the zoo. So, you can imagine our surprise, when we saw him arrive... any guesses?
NOPE, but you're getting close...
YOU GUESSED IT!
Allow me to introduce you to the coolest thing (I think) to happen in our neighborhood in a very long time...maybe ever! This is Ben the Bear.
He was hand carved by an incredibly talented artist using a chainsaw!!!!
It's quite a story...one freezing cold Saturday in January, I was looking out my studio window and saw our neighbors across the street were taking down a huge tree. The odd thing was that they cut it down to about 12 feet high and were stripping the bark off of it. I shrugged and walked away and got involved in something in the studio...only to check back at my window a few hours later. Now, the bark was gone and the tree had taken the shape of what looked like a pencil (point up). I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I had no idea this was going to be a work in progress. At this point, I just thought my neighbor was completely off his rocker, but again, I had to move on with my day. The next day, we heard the chainsaw at work again and I looked out the window to see this...
I couldn't believe it. I grabbed my coat and camera and had to go check it out.
I met the artist, a man with the last name 'Blaylock'. This is his passion and his work comes strictly via word of mouth. Amazing. I am blown away by his talent. The man made this with a chainsaw! That day he had discovered that at the base of the tree, by the legs, the tree trunk was hollow...an unforseen roadblock, which he was able to repair using a chunk of wood from an unused piece of the tree. So cool. You can see it here...
My neighbor, Bill, who commissioned this work on his property, has done a beautiful job staining and sealing him. He told me that his 2 year old granddaughter was frightened by Ben at first. Then, they explained to her that he wasn't a scary bear, but a laughing bear. He does look like he could be laughing. I think he has friendly eyes. Don't you?
Bill's granddaughter is the one who named him "Ben". I think he's awesome and i couldn't be happier that he moved into the neighborhood....and that I can see him from my window, too!