I didn’t know this growing up, but my dad is an artist. I wasn’t surprised when my dad started growing the gourds. When a child, we had a large garden I distinctly remember weeding and picking off potato bugs, and he is a farmer. All the gourds were grown in his patch out north of the house, and another patch in the pasture past the shelter belt. The growth made for some lush vinery against the dry, western Kansas landscape. They were beautiful even before the gourds were dead, dried, soaked, scrubbed, and then creatively altered.
My dad sketches on the gourds and uses different techniques for his desired effects like woodburning and chipping. When color is added, it is often leather dye although he does occasionally use paint. And if he sees fit, he adorns the gourds with pine needles, leather strips, beadwork, and other random jewelry pieces.
My daughter and husband did a photo shoot of a very small portion of his work over the Thanksgiving holiday. Check it out: Gourds by Leo. And if you desire more beauty, check out this slideshow for all the photos done that day. The majority were taken by my daughter. She has that natural eye for a good shot, and an excellent teacher, her daddy. Some beautiful wagon and saddle photo shots are thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!