Ancestor Figures from the Dream Times and Other Carvings
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A DOTTY LEITMOTIF: According to Ike
Blind Confidence, the will to move forward, even when you are not aware of your dominant theme...
Serendipity, the condition, quality or aptitude for making fortuitous discoveries accidentally...
Acute Angularity, angular forms suggesting keenness of thought or vision or sensitivity to impressions.
Harmonious Coordination, an emphasis on selection of features naturally occurring in woodstock
Acute Angularities of Form and Function
Carvers with a keen eye may select wood stock specifically suited to the subject
matter or approach projects from a much more intangible and difficult to define
perspective. Sometimes chance or luck plays a significant role in the outcome of a
project. Then again, sometimes trees themselves play a role, as do termites,
knotholes, dry rot and a host of other more mysterious factors...
Working with what you have left...or "Waiting For Closure"
It is not always the case that one has a distinctive, well defined or specific plan in mind when a project
is begun. Found wood stock (something you just happened to have stumbled upon while walking
around in the country or driving around in the neighborhood) may require seasoning, debarking,
shaving down of roots or undesirable features, cleaning out rot, fungus, insects, removing pockets of
compacted dirt etc. Then, after a period of what can amount to days of laborious preparation, you
finally end up with "what you have left." Unfortunately, even at that point you may not know exactly
where you are going next. Maybe all you have is the suggestion or hint of an idea. Maybe even
something like this: "Gee, I've seen what's on the outside of everything, but I wonder what's on the
inside?" So you begin to drill into the thing, chipping away a little bit at a time with a chisel or gouge.
It's tedious work...so you decide to step back occasionally, smoke your pipe (or whatever) and study
the thing. "What the Hell is it," you say to yourself. This goes on (sometimes forever) until eventually
you "see what you've got." Only this seeing is a lot better (more accurate) than what you could see
when you were stumbling around all those undesirable features--the rot, the fungus, the insects etc.
Now you can begin to make some real progress. You just have to be careful to avoid some stupid
mistake if you can help it. If you can't, who knows? Maybe it wasn't a mistake after all. Maybe it was
meant to be, so you step back again and light up your pipe (or whatever). Sometimes days, sometimes
months, later you end up with a "Homage to Georgia O'Keefe." And that, my friends, is often the way
it goes, only you don't learn that, really learn that, for a long long time if you're going along on your
own...Take my word for it...
Archival Photos of the Carvings of Odd Jim Dotty, Courtesy of the Dotty Foundation
With Commentary By E. Ike
Any attempt to pigeon hole Dotty's work is probably doomed to failure, because nobody can know where he is likely to go next. Ike's typology
is, therefore, mostly a verbal convenience for the organization and display of carvings which are themselves unique. In an effort to avoid
premature typification, Dotty has even gone so far as to describe his own theory of artistic expression. According to the Dot Meister, he is a
practitioner of the Southern California Garage School of the Neo-Primitive Post-Outsider Non-Ism Movement. As such, he is a practitioner of a
school of thought which espouses soi-disant guise mongering poly-pragmatics, in order to forge new directions for the arts and artists. Seems
clear enough to me...
Two Views of "The Final Enemy"
Two Views of "Homage to Georgia O'Keefe"
Small Head in Soapstone
Small Standing Figure
Three Views of "Family Totem: Children Leave A Hole in the Soul"
Three Views of "Empty Lap"
Ode to "Inner Ear"
Homage to the Termite Queen"
"Trickster Jay Couple"
"Blithe Tree of Eternal Bunkum"
Two Views of "A Note From Theolonious"
"Waiting for Closure"
Walnut wood in progress: Notice "Waiting for Closure" on the left
"A Note From Theolonious"
"Abandoned Muse" unfinished
Four Views of "Woman who views the world askance"
Three Views of "The Gazer" finished
"Failed Transformation" [two views]
"Peregrine Falcon" [preparing for the stoop exam]
Two Views of "Mantis Lady Anticipating Dinner Date"
"Mantis Lady" [Notice the head of 'her date']
"She Who Would be Queen (in body armor)"
"Changing Woman" fetish
"Evil Woman taking the remains of her ex-husbands to the skull rack..."
Full view of her figure...
Fetish Figures in various stages of preparation during dotting procedure...
"The Gazer" unfinished
"Another Abandoned Muse"
Dotted Stick Figures Exhibiting Harmonious Coordination
Serendipitous Free Form Abstractions
An Amalgamation of Heads Conceived with Blind Confidence