About Whimsicalwood & Contact

David Stanley Biographical Information.

Born in 1949, I grew up in Ashbury, an inner west suburb of Sydney New South Wales Australia. I now live in retirement with my wife Carol, further west of Sydney at Glenmore Park, not far from the Nepean River Valley and escarpment of the Blue Mountains.

We attend Grace West Anglican Church, Glenmore Park. I teach scripture classes in local schools and continue with my life long interest in drawing and making. My art interests now include wood-art and in particular the carving of welsh lovespoons. In latter years a great proportion of my graphic work has been painted rocks.

My interest in drawing and the making of things, occupies much of my thinking during the long hours required for this kind of work. I now endeavour to relate all my thinking, to having been rescued from being an, unawares, seemingly passive, enemy of my Creator, to belonging to Jesus the Messiah, according to his invitation which he freely offers to us all.

Thinking about the work we do when we set about making something. Something that nobody really needs - but something that we really want to make - Really want to make, because we think, for some reason - they should have it - and we make the thing in the hope they will want it… Such thoughts can run a dangerous course during the long, drifting hours of making. Without an anchor, all meaning, purpose and the very life-breath of inspiration, can quickly run aground.

But now…This one piece of given knowledge, the knowledge that it is our Creator alone who provides all purpose and meaning for creative activity, this enlivening knowledge, is an ubiquitous antidote to the malaise of imploding reasonings. Rested upon this axiom, our thoughts can instead, turn outward with the purpose of sharing techniques and processes, providing encouragement and inspiration for others and drawing inspiration from this reassuring foundation.

Many artists and makers, can of course, do this sharing and encouraging with endearing enthusiasm, even without a particular knowledge of their Creator. But the malaise of imploding reasonings must still threaten and drain away all sense of purpose from time to time.

Christ came first and foremost to rescue our very selves from the justice of what we have coming, as rebels and enemies. But he also offers redemption for our relationships, our thoughts, our knowledge, our science and our art.

My first full time job was as a survey draftsman. I learned to measure and draw accurately in pencil and in black ink with drawing instruments. I also learned neat hand-written lettering with dip pens and pointed nibs. As an extension to these on-the-job skills, I developed an interest in broad-nib calligraphy and the usefulness of dip pens and technical pens for drawing.

This experience was invaluable training but I longed to be employed doing more creative graphic work and also felt some need to link this work to an instructional purpose. Though I would personally make no distinction It was illustration rather than the pure self expression of fine art that beckoned. Eventually I found the type of employment I was after at the University of Sydney, as a biological illustrator, with the Department of Zoology, in the School of Biological Sciences. In this role I produced stipple drawings of biological specimens to the exacting standard of accuracy and realism, required by scientific publications. The work was painstaking and the attention to detail demanding but I enjoyed this work and its discipline.  

After three years the desire to be involved in education led to teacher training, graduation, and two years of classroom teaching as a primary teacher. Then my ideal job became available in distance education as a teacher/illustrator of learning materials with the Correspondence School Sydney. In this role I could invest all my previous experience in the illustration of lesson materials. Exclusively black and white line illustrations at first, using pen and ink. I had also approached the publishers Ashton Scholastic and was receiving similar work as a freelance illustrator with them plus some colour work using ink and watercolour wash.

Then with the introduction of computer graphics, when scanners, Photoshop and graphics tablets became available, all that I had learned and practised with pencil, pen and brush could now be utilised by scanning and painting in Photoshop. I was now also illustrating picture books with Koala Books, on a freelance basis, in addition to to my regular work, and most of this work was produced as digital files, that nevertheless had began as work on paper using real materials.

In retirement my interest in wood working led to wood-art, particularly carving Welsh lovespoons and my continued interest in drawing, with real materials, led to all kinds of graphic work, particularly painting miniature works on rocks. So on this site, whimsicalwood.com, all of these interests and experiences have melded into the simple practice of making things. Making things that I hope people would like to have, and helping other makers by offering instructional materials that may be of help to them with their own art.

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