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From a young age, Jason Waldron knew he wanted to be a professional artist—he just hadn't found his medium yet. It wasn't until he saw some guys carving logs into bears using chainsaws that inspiration struck.

"I got a log from a friend and picked up a cheap electric chainsaw and started caving a great horned owl swooping in for its prey," he recalls. "I loved it so much that I quit my job the next day, which was over 14 years ago."

In the beginning, his process was purely subtractive—creating images in wood by taking parts away. But over time, as his perspective on art and life shifted, he moved to his current style, which uses salvaged wood and metal to build sculptural pieces.

"For instance, I began my career with aspirations of fortune and fame, creating what I thought other people would like, with solely a subtractive process—carving—and primarily focusing on aesthetics and detail," Waldron says, noting that art reflects the artist who creates it. "Today, my selfish ambitions have been replaced with a desire to glorify God's selfless love and as He leads my creative process, which is now primarily additive and more gestural."

He creates his unique look by foraging through Central Oregon's wilderness and scrapyards in search of wood and metal that is weathered and worn. But Waldron doesn't gather materials indiscriminately.

"[I] look for pieces that have unique character from their various shapes, colors and textures. The pieces must be dead, weathered and dry, but not rotted," Waldron says. "I often will pass up 20 or more 'tree graves' before I find a piece or two that I like. Being this selective means that I don't acquire much wood and therefore I have very little impact on the forest, which is important to me."

Because Waldron's sculptures represent his personal, spiritual discoveries and transformations, he prefers to present them at art shows, rather than galleries.

"One of the greatest aspects of my process is connecting with others through the sharing of my art," he explains.

When Waldron's not at an art show, he welcomes people to visit his studio and see his works in progress. To schedule a showing, visit

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...
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