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"Gaqka" - (Crow)

"Gaqka" - (Crow)

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York "Gaqka” - “Each downy feather of the ruff around its black beak was as clear to him as if he stood just beside it. He could see too every scale on its dark, slender leg.” pg. 128 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - (SOLD) Arthur Levine’s team was wonderful to work with as they allowed me total freedom to explore ideas. My technique is laborious with many phases but their patience promoted a creative atmosphere throughout the entire multi-month process. -cn
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"Jewels" - study

"Jewels" - study

Calvin Nicholls
100% cotton paper
12 x 4 x 1 inches (L x W x D)
One of six horses in a large commission measuring 30" h x 60" w x 4"d based on a video as they romped through the paddock on the first day together after a long winter. The musculature and contrasting texture of the manes and tail was a delight to work on.
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Buffalo

Buffalo

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Buffalo” “It was like a new world to him, that sea of tall grasses... He had been living with the buffaloes” pg.43 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - (SOLD) Certainly one of my favourites in the series, the buffalo sculpture proved challenging and rewarding as I worked to depict the wooly coat and swirling grass. It also reminds me of a light hearted conversation with elders at Curve Lake. “The English say ‘Bison’ but that is what you wash your hands in!” - cn
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Chief Eagle

Chief Eagle

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Chief Eagle” - Chief Eagle watched the smoke rising from his pipe to mingle with the smoke billowing from the fire...” pg.108 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) My goal with this sculpture was to use repeating shapes in the necklace, jaw and hairline for interest and to prompt redirection back to the chief’s face via the pipe stem, index finger, and shadows of the smoke. Complex curves, concave and convex form and shifting planes were challenging in this early attempt at portraiture. -cn

Chipmunk's Stripes

Chipmunk's Stripes

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Chipmunk’s Stripes” - “Chipmunk’s stripes show Bear’s power. Yet they show too that little Chipmunk had the power to outsmart the mighty bear.” pg 184 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) Hand-held turtle shell rattles stood out in my memory of pow-wows I had seen in my youth. That image appeared in my sketches as I explored dance positions. I felt that Chippy should be similarly gripping his tail to be convincing as he danced to thwart the threats of the great bear. -cn

Drop It!

Drop It!

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Drop it!” - “...the dog had already scooted around the corner of a nearby lodge and was gone.” pg.8 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) This scene has played out dozens of times with pups and dogs in our house over the years. Although with playful intent, the act was infuriating when the prize was chewed and endearing when returned for a treat and a little ear rub. Preserving the flow in fur is always tricky but easier if wet or coarse which suited the guilty party in this chapter who needed to look unkempt and scruffy. -cn.

Giant Bear

Giant Bear

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Giant Bear” - “The boy’s unyielding spirit had triumphed over its own.” pg.61 - 22”h 18”w x2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - (SOLD) Placing a portion of the subject beyond the mat opening is a favourite trick in enhancing the illusion of depth in my low relief sculptures which at this size is 11/2” deep. “Giant Bear” was a slow one to develop and complete as both the need to direct the viewer’s eye and to preserve the flow in the fur proved challenging . -cn
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Headed Home

Headed Home

Calvin Nicholls
100% cotton paper
18 x 14 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
Connections to animals in our lives manifest in subtle ways sometimes. During the last steps back to the paddock this heart warming gesture seemed to reassure the horse of the bond and trust that was so obviously mutual. The swinging bridle and wispy tail was the icing on the cake as I worked at the art table imagining life on the farm.
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Loon

Loon

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Loon” “There swam a loon in a pool of water...Raise your wing!... There were eight tiny hearts.” pg.79 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) The thought of combining my experiments with paper with my life-long fascination of birds ignited my desire many years ago to pursue wildlife themes more often in my work. That sentiment has grown stronger every year and it was exciting to have such a piece showcased in this terrific book. -cn

mink

mink

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Mink” “Poor Mink. He peered out and - aieeeeee! - saw the world swinging below him! He was terrified.” pg 114 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - (SOLD) I enjoyed the contrast of the weathered splinters in the log and the fine strands of fur that this moment in the story offered. Tilting the horizon was a subtle nudge for viewers to imagine the poor mink’s high altitude predicament. -cn
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Moccasins

Moccasins

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Moccasins” - “From a bark box, Grandmother lifted a pair of moccasins embroidered with porcupine quills....’With these on, Grandmother,’ he said, ‘Even in winter I walk on flowers.’” pg 177 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) Fine detail techniques have always gripped my imagination. The delicate porcupine quill patterns before me in the display cases at Curve Lake were indeed striking. The use of nature’s own materials in honouring the natural world inspired this sculpture which we decided was vital to the series. -cn

Namesake

Namesake

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Namesake” - “On top of Grandfather Stone was a small black rock shaped like a crow! Yes. There was the beak, the wing, the balancing tail. It was his namesake, Crow the Talker, the teller of Gaa! Gaa! Of stories!” pg190 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) On a family holiday to coastal British Columbia we discussed the concept and merits of memory stones. Even a small pebble or tiny driftwood splinter can rekindle fond memories and strength simply with a touch. Mine is always within reach as I work. -cn

Old Man Winter

Old Man Winter

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Old Man Winter” - “Outside the north wind howled and moaned like a hungry beast.” pg16 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - (SOLD) Memories of the wind howling in the trees during a storm in the night intimidated me as a boy on family camping trips and inspired me as I explored options for this layout. I recalled huddling deeper into my sleeping bag with a flashlight and comic book seeking distraction. - cn
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Run!

Run!

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Run!” - “Run! screamed Grandmother.....another arrow cut the leaf over head. Zzzzoooootttt!” pg. 1 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) My daughter’s experiences as a dancer were essential as she struck a variety of poses displaying urgency and panic. I watched for a silhouette shape that would fit the frame mindful of how the dramatic mood in these opening pages required something really dynamic. -cn

Saddle on Cedar

Saddle on Cedar

Calvin Nicholls
100% cotton paper
20 x 20 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
This private commission was completed using three hues of 100% cotton paper. The texture of the rails complimented the smooth finish of the leather and worked up nicely in this beautiful soft paper. It accepted tooling readily as I imposed accents via embossing and debossing methods. It was fun researching this one as I grew up wandering the fields which were defined by meandering rail fences. To have a horse as a boy was always a dream. Saddle on Cedar remains one of my favourite pieces that transported me back to my youth as I worked at the art table.
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Sky Woman

Sky Woman

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Sky Woman” - “Oh Sky Woman fell and fell...They saw Sky Woman and they lifted their wings and rose to meet her saying ’We will cushion her fall!’...Then a huge turtle rose from beneath the surging waves and they gently set Sky woman down on Turtle’s back.” pg 30 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - (SOLD) So often an image in a series evolves naturally into the lead role. I agreed immediately with the choice of the design team and eagerly anticipated the treatment of “Sky Woman” on the main dust jacket and lead page. What a thrill to receive my copies. Coincidentally, years later on a break from writing these thoughts, I congratulated author Rafe Martin and his wife on their anniversary. So many doors have opened in my art career. Each one revealing something memorable. Often a new and lasting friendship. -cn
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Story Telling Stone

Story Telling Stone

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Storytelling Stone” - “It was the stone! The voice came from the stone!” pg.25 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) My oldest son got in on the act and we explored that feeling of vulnerability while alone in the woods as a boy convinced that there were eyes, staring and analyzing his every move. But then to suddenly hear a voice! We agreed the ensuing dead run was inevitable. -cn

Two Feathers

Two Feathers

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Two Feathers” - “Two Feathers put on the panther shirt. His arms felt strong, and his heart was without fear.” pg.151 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) Rural life as a boy offered me countless opportunities to explore and experiment with traditional practices and outdoor skills. To my father’s dismay one summer. I tanned groundhog skins and transformed them into a vest and high cut mukluks. Memories of wearing them on snow-shoeing outings was front of mind as I sketched. -cn

Young Archer

Young Archer

Calvin Nicholls
archival paper
22 x 18 x 2 inches (L x W x D)
The Creation Time Series Sixteen original paper sculptures honouring Seneca legend and storytelling Author and storyteller - Rafe Martin Publisher - Arthur A. Levine Imprint of Scholastic Press N.Y. New York “Young Archer” - “You have his skill...You will be a great hunter...” pg.19 - 22”h x 18”w x 2”d - archival papers - conservation framing - ($3950usd) My daughter’s enthusiasm was as obvious as my wife’s skepticism about modelling for this particular layout. Filled with the joy after earning the praise of his mentor, the young boy in the story also feels his confidence surge. A transformative moment for both characters. -cn