John Hooper

I live in the middle of a wildlife protection area on the shore of Rangeley Lake, at the edge of Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness. This gives me the opportunity to observe wildlife, up close and personal. If I haven’t seen most species of fish, mammals and birds from the comfort of camp, then I’ve seen them in the woods, fields and waters of this beautiful part of the country.

I have chosen to capture the images in the medium of wood. Through sculpting and relief carving, I bring to life animals, birds and fish, often in their habitats, doing something that comes naturally.

The wood I use in my work is “found”, usually from a tree that has been blown down or cast aside in the woodlot. I love stumps! Folks often will drop a stump off in my yard, in anticipation of seeing the finished sculpture that emerges…after as many as 200 hours of chipping away the unwanted parts. I will work with as many as 75 different tools and materials in the process of carving from stump to finished piece, often starting with a chain saw, and finishing with the finest grit of sandpaper.

The dimensional lumber I use is scrap, repurposed to create frames, shadow boxes, surfaces for relief carvings and bases. To-date I have utilized 16 native species of trees in all facets of my work.

I absolutely love the creative process involved in this endeavor, and appreciate the ability to create with my hands, what is in my mind’s eye. I carve for the sheer pleasure of it, and get great satisfaction from sharing my work with appreciative audiences, like you.

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Artist’s Resume
I became “an artist” in 2010. All that transpired before that date, would not have predicted it. Yet, as I search my past, there are experiences, situations, relationships, skills gained that, together, enable me to be a Master Carver. I’m so glad I discovered carving at age 70. I’m passionate about what I do, and I continue to amaze myself with the results.

• Member, Maine Woodcarvers’ Association
• Carving Competitions at four venues in Maine, annually since 2012. In those five years, I have earned 100 ribbons, 50 of them for first place in category, experience level and/or finishes.
• Four of my pieces have won the “People’s Choice” Award, selected from over 100 entries, by vote of attendees at the events held in conjunction with the competitions.
• RFA Art in August. First invited in 2014, and won First Place in the Artisan category, finishingin Second place in each of the subsequent events.
• “Featured Artist” at the Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oquossoc in 2016 and 2017
• “Featured Artist” at the Rangeley Historical Museum In Rangeley, in 2017
• Invited to Exhibit at the Lakeside Contemporary Art Gallery, in 2017
• Since 2013, I have participated with a booth, at the Lupine Festival, the Strawberry Festival, the Logging Festival, Oquossoc Days, and the Apple Festival, all in the Rangeley Region.

…and before 2010?

• Retired the first time, in 1992 as Senior Vice President, Guy Gannett Publishing Co
• Retired in 2004 as President, Junior Achievement of Maine
• Purchased a 3-season Camp on Rangeley Lake in 1995. Upon retirement, re-imagined a lake house and converted my camp to a year-around residence, largely by myself, from framing to finish work, cabinets to built-ins, and pine furniture creations.


Three day exhibitor at L.L.Bean.