The World in Caricature – A Study in Communication

August 29, 2019

My dear friend Bruce Smith is a wood carver/artist/instructor extraordinaire. I do not use that phrase lightly. Bruce has a PhD in Communication, which is not the least bit surprising because his carvings communicate.

I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Bruce and his wife Brenda for over twenty years. My wife and I have shared many relaxing meals together, and their friendship has been one of our great joys in life.

Bruce is also a musician, wood burner, and sketch artist. His easy-going manner and excellent ability to instruct even allowed me to make some carvings which actually look remotely like what I intended, quite a feat, I assure you!

I offered to photograph these carvings because not only are they incredibly nuanced in their detail, but they each have their own special story to tell. Beautiful and expressive, they reflect in caricature people we have known.

The Banker above is one of my personal favorites. Notice the placement of the hands, the cigar, the curve of the mouth – all so expressive! And of course the pot belly and the balding head merely add to the story being told!

Norman Rockwell was famous for painting life scenes in caricature, capturing moments which were both very real and yet larger-than-life. When I see Bruce’s carvings I cannot help but see these same attributes. 

Take time to study each one and enjoy (and then visit his Facebook page to follow his work). Enjoy!

(click here to visit the gallery)




  • Reply Beth Doody August 30, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring Bruce Smith and his carvings. He is a very talented, kind, compassionate, and gentle soul. I am blessed because he is also my big brother. I have a huge collection of Bruce’s carvings and love showing them to others. He really does put personality into each piece.

  • Reply Robert August 31, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Hi Beth – it is absolutely an honor to feature Bruce’s work – he is very humble as you know so well, and never makes a big deal about his work – but it is exquisite and needs to be seen as many ways as possible.
    I look forward to featuring more of his work as the opportunity permits. Thanks for writing! Robert

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