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Developing talents

[caption id="attachment_6378" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Gerald Karnes with his photography and hand-carved wood figurines. He uses the Scandinavian flat plane method, which he learned from an artist in Lindsborg.[/caption]

Gerald Karnes focuses on photography and woodcarving

When Gerald Karnes was 16, he borrowed his sister’s Kodak camera to take along to summer camp. Seven decades later, Gerald is still taking and sharing photographs.

This fall, visitors to our annual Soup Supper could purchase some of Gerald’s colorful nature scenes that were on cards. They included a cardinal among the flowers in his yard, a monarch butterfly landing on a sunflower, and other sights from right around his home and church. Gerald donated the proceeds of his sales to the Good Samaritan program at Salina Presbyterian Manor, where he and his wife, Charlene, have lived since 2015.

“It’s all trial and error. I try something and make a note for the next time,” Gerald said.

Once he retired, Gerald sought opportunities to develop his photography skills. He took classes with a retired local eye doctor, Dale Cole. “I bought  a good digital camera. It makes a world of difference,” Gerald said. He was especially pleased with the results of his attempts to make a picture of the “supermoon” about a year ago. He shot the moon through a bare tree, keeping the branches in sharp focus with the moon visible behind them.

Gerald always seems to find new forms of creative expression to try. He has been trying his hand at acrylic painting, creating seasonal and holiday-inspired quilt patterns on 12x12 canvases. He also enjoys hand-carving wood figurines using the Scandinavian flat plane method, which he learned from an artist in Lindsborg. The rough caricatures are just a few inches tall, usually made from a 1 ¾ inch block of basswood.

The flat plane method – together with a very sharp knife – ensures that no sanding is required. He entered one named “The Duffer” – a golfer – in last year’s Art is Ageless competition. However, Gerald said, “I talked a friend into putting his woodwork in — and he won.” Not to worry, Gerald is planning to enter the exhibit again this year.

We thank Gerald for not only sharing his art with our community, but for using his talents to benefit his own neighbors through the Good Samaritan program.

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