Lee Maple of NarLee Creations
Outdoorsman, Athlete, Wood Carver and Bronze Sculptor
Lee’s interest in woodcarving was first aroused as a teenager when, during a trip to the mall, he came across a woodcarving exhibition. Intrigued by their work, he approached one of the artists and struck up a conversation about her pieces. She encouraged him buy a book, a block of wood and some tools to see if he would enjoy it. He did.
Woodcarving seemed like a natural fit for Lee. Although he always loved art, he is color-blind and wasn’t sure he could actually have a career as an artist. Thirty-plus years later, he is still creating sculptures in wood but now they are not from a book. They directly relate to his life and his interests.
Lee entered his first woodcarving show/contest with the pieces, “Harley Boy” and “The Epic Ride.” He entered himself in the intermediate division. “The Epic Ride” and “Harley Boy” took first and second place, respectively, in the realistic human group. Furthermore, “The Epic Ride” earned best of honors for the entire realistic category and best of show in the entire intermediate division.
In the next show, he was moved to the expert division where he won five awards for “Surfs Up!”
Balancing Fine Detail and Extreme Sports
While sculpting gives Lee the unique satisfaction of paying attention to the smallest detail and focusing with steady precision in relative isolation, his other interests afford him gratification on nearly the exact opposite end of the spectrum.
Many of Lee’s sculptures reflect his love of the outdoors and extreme sports. He is able to convey the feeling of motion and the lean that an athlete can achieve that seems to defy gravity, whether that is leaning into a curve on a motorcycle, or for a dig in beach volleyball, or any number of other activities.
Lee Maple Shares His Creative Process
One of the coolest things about artists is their willingness to share their process. Lee is no exception. Through photographs he walks you through the process of how he creates a sculpture. For example, you can see how Female Volleyball is created from start to finish.
And the start may surprise you–he actually creates an armature and creates a piece out of clay before he carves the final wood sculpture! Click here to see the wood carving process of NarLee Creations!
And check out the detail that Lee is able to achieve in “Living on the Edge“–and the inspiration he gets on his own motorcycle.
Lee also is accepting commissions. He recently completed “A Dance of Warriors”– a bronze of two kick-boxers. This piece was commissioned by the owners of a new gym. While it is not yet open to the public, this work will be proudly on display there.
This Artist is One “NarLee” Dude
Lee enjoys the exhilaration of riding downhill through wooded single tracks on his mountain bike, the boundless panoramic views while summiting Colorado’s many 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation) and feeling the spray of water while windsurfing.
This sculptor is definitely not one to shy away from getting “NarLee” (gnarly).
You can learn more about Lee Maple and his work at his website NarLeeCreations.com and be sure to find him on Facebook!