Brad Rhadwood

Canadian American artist Brad Rhadwood, aka The Wood Whisperer, uses traditional as well as innovative techniques to transform and reclaim wood of all nature into works of art. Allowing his unconscious to take the lead, Rhadwood listens for the stories the wood has to tell, using the knots and grain as guides to create whimsical “wood spirits” – curious, sweet and sometimes “derpy” creatures that are clearly from some enchanted realms of the imagination.

Rhadwood began his wood whispering mission in Portland, Oregon an impromptu and successful art show for his friend’s salon using discarded wood and art supplies found in his kitchen drawer. These days, Rhadwood teaches The Way of the Wood workshops, live paints at markets and festivals and gets studio time in San Francisco, Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Artist Statement

“Wood is my canvas”, it’s everywhere, it’s free which makes creating accessible no matter the circumstances.” To prove this point Rhadwood frequently goes on art adventures with minimal supplies, hunting and gathering his materials along the way and leaving a trail of wood vibes in his wake. He’s been Wood Whispering since 2005 when he lived in Portland, Oregon. Rhadwood’s only roots now are in his Vancouver, BC studio. He currently spends much of the year as a nomad, painting live at various festivals and events around the world. He also teaches Wood Whispering: 101 in group or private workshops and volunteers in public schools and non-profits.

Prior to his career as a Wood Whisperer, Rhadwood did street art under the moniker Dr. Medz. “Street art taught me how to compliment an environment, capitalizing on what already existed in order to achieve maximum results with minimum effort. To be clever!” Applying those principles and practices to a piece of wood he found in a basement, the wood began to speak in the same language of the street. This became his segue and natural bridge into the fine arts.”I was looking for a way to legitimize my art but continue with the same spirit that street art provided.”

The work is collaborative in nature due to the wood itself being a major contributor in how each piece turns out. Listening to the wood is the key to the magical garden, the way down the rabbit hole. The more one listens to what the wood is saying, the easier and more fun the experience. It’s an exercise in letting go of control and being in control at the same time. 
“Sometimes I begin the conversation with an idea or intention, sometimes the wood does all the talking. Letting the wood speak is equally as important (usually more) than anything I have to say as far as the success of a piece is concerned.”

His passion for all things wood helped to shape the collective know as Wood Vibe Tribe, currently featuring three talented wood artists. The group collaborates in many ways to combine their various talents and skills in group shows, at festivals and different community events throughout BC and America.

“Recently I discovered some childhood drawings. They were simple, crayon doodles that resonate deeply with the work I do today. Inspired and invigorated by the mystery of how creation occurs, I continue to doodle out the derps with the same passion and playfulness of my youth.”

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