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The Making of ‘Alf Jacques – The Stickmaker’

This past Summer season seemed to blend just right in to be honest. But as a family we still took advantage of it and made a week-long vacation in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY – Seneca Lake to be exact. For me it was a good break, or pause, in between a pretty loaded work schedule doing a bunch of custom art orders. It was also a good time for me to do a personal project, or two – something that I’ve been longing to do.

It was strange to bring my art supplies on vacation, because seeing those routine work materials made me feel that I didn’t vacate at all. But I was looking forward to doing something without a ‘deadline’. A friend of mine named, Drew Andreotti visited Alf in his studio a while back and sent me a pic of him doing his noted work of creating those amazing hand carved, wooden lacrosse sticks – which I was glad to have finally gotten back in January. That pic of Alf Jacques, which Drew texted to me, became the perfect reference pic to replicate.

It all starts out with a pencil stage, as always. The vacation outdoor light was a big relief compared to the indoor, studio office.

The inking stage was next and I wanted to use a fine tipped point.

The attention turned to his hand carved creations of the wooden sticks.

It was interesting to go back and focus on the human figure and then go back to a non-figured object. I did that quite a bit to avoid ‘auto-draw’, or any habit of losing attention to detail(s).

Details, drapery, shadows and tones to make things stand out were left. The finish was coming how I wanted it to look.

Once finished, and my vacation, too, it was back to the NYC-area where I made and sent a reproduction print to Drew, to thank him for the reference pic. But I really wanted to get the original to Alf Jacques, himself. And unbeknownst, Alf was on Seneca Lake about 10 minutes down the road from me enjoying some vacation, too. What were the chances of us being so close that week when compared to our respective and regular locations of Syracuse and New York City? That was just wild.

Drew got the pic and decided to get it custom matted and framed. He, of course, texted pics of the process, which was so awesome to see because of Drew’s genuine enthusiasm. Did I also mention Drew’s personal collection of Alf’s products, as well, along with a great amount of CD’s?

With the amazing help from Prof. Philip Arnold of Syracuse University, who also heads the Indigenous Values Initiative, the original piece was finally in Alf’s hands. The final destination, along with other reproduction prints from The Art of Lax™ up on his studio walls.

‘Alf Jacques – The Stickmaker’ (8.5×11 inches. Pen & ink).

Interested in buy a reproduction print for yourself? Proceeds from sales help Alf Jacques and his craft. Click, here, to purchase.


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