The Wise Novelist

Outdoor Artists Are Amazing – Meet Lueb Popoff

That’s Lueb Popoff, Tree Sculptor. I was driving into town yesterday evening to pick up a pizza for dinner. I like to drive along the stretch which falls a block north of the main street so I can avoid the traffic lights in town. This takes me down a tree lined avenue with large, old school houses that give the town a sense of history. Permanence. I go past the tennis courts at the northern side of Fickle Park. Spot dog walkers and an occasional kid on a bike or skateboard. Small town Americana.

Yesterday, I spotted someone carving what once was a large Ash Tree (the hard wood tree made famous by the movie, The Natural, that was struck by lightening and gave birth to the home carved baseball bat by that name). I had never met a tree sculptor, and figured, now was as good a time as any.

Lueb Popoff (of Bulgarian descent) was friendly and approachable. He explained his process and approach to carvings in general and why he was carving this particular Cooper’s Hawk.

It seems that the owners of the property wanted to commemorate the family of Cooper’s Hawks living on their property.

What was most amazing was that he appeared to be operating from memory. I didn’t see Lueb checking any photos as he worked. He told me he would wipe it down or airbrush it with a protective stain or resin when he was done to preserve and protect it against the elements. Fascinating.

I shot a video of Lueb at work, which I posted on FB, along with a few still shots, below.

The detail and artistry is amazing. If any large tree on my property ever dies, I’ll have Lube commemorate Claire.

Here’s his contact information for anyone out there who may want his services.

Anyway, Lueb’s was not the only interesting bit of street art I encountered yesterday.

When I went out to the road to collect my mail, I found this.

Now my mail person is obviously of the Banksy school of guerrilla street art. They know that their work is temporary and created just to make some political or socio-economic statement. This one clearly mocks the on-line overconsumption of resources by society, as represented by the overstuffed mailbox. The golden pecker rises above like a precious metal phallus in praise of Aphrodite and the mailbox door extends like a tongue stuck out at society in contempt. The two empty newspaper holders below represent the death of a free and fair Fourth Estate. I was moved by its power and felt compelled to capture the artistic moment for posterity.

As you can see, most art critics are completely full of shit.

Then I brought the package into the house for Lisa and moved on with my life.

Speaking of moving on, the day awaits.

Luckily it is Friday. That I can do.

But first, a kitty cuddle and my rounds.

Maybe breakfast at Grandpa’s Cafe with Lisa.

Then work.

I recommend that you fine, five readers get on your coasting shoes and skate through the day.

Think about upcoming weekend events like apple picking or leaf watching.

Maybe football. Or a book or two.

But whatever else you have planned, make today a great one.

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