They say a family that plays together, stays together.
This is certainly true for Jerry and Nancy Harper. The Grove couple create pieces of wood and painted art forms together under the moniker Wolf Creek Woodcraft.
Their artwork, which contains a mixture of carved pieces, wood burned pieces and paintings, are on display this month at the Brush & Palette Art Gallery in Grove.
An artist reception, complete with entertainment and refreshments, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11, at the gallery, located at 18 West Fourth, Grove.
About the Harpers
The couple, who both worked in sales, retired to Grove in 2015 from Hillsdale, Kansas.
They've been creating painted working items together for several years. Most recently, Jerry has branched out into wood burning, while Nancy has begun painting.
The pair joined the Brush & Palette Art Gallery last fall, after learning about the non-profit organization from a friend.
Jerry first began carving seriously after his mother, Evelyn Bowser, gave him a knife, glove and book for a Christmas present.
He jokes the activity "keeps him busy."
"It's a creative outlet," Jerry said. "I like to try different subjects and different mediums."
Recently he began wood burning a series of victorian houses, based on pen and ink prints his brother Ron completed before his death.
He prefers to use basswood for his carvings, because the medium allows him to fine tune the details of his pieces. For his wood burning projects, he has used a variety of woods including cherry, cedar and basswood.
Nancy said she sees Jerry's projects as an extension of his previous work life, which included time as a builder.
"It's more of using my hands and tools, than using the wood," Jerry said.
Initially, Nancy began her part of the creations by painting the items Jerry carved.
Six months ago, she decided to try her hand at painting canvases.
"I wanted to see what I could do, and I found I enjoy it," Nancy said, adding she has taken a few classes since joining the Brush & Palette Art Gallery.
"A friend of ours calls me Grandma Moses because I didn't start painting until I was 68-years-old," Nancy said with a grin. "I like the creativity, and being able to have something to look at when you are done. I love the finished products."
Nancy primarily works in acrylics, although she originally started using oils to paint Jerry's carvings. She wants to learn watercolors as her next medium.
For now, Jerry's next project is a cowboy bust using a idea and method learned from fellow Grove woodcarver Lynn Doughty.
Doughty has a blog, complete with videos taking users step by step through a process to create the bust.
"I have followed along with that," Jerry said. "Faces are hard to carve. Even though I've followed along, my carving looks way different.
"But every time you start a carving, the wood dictates how it goes."
Nancy said she will continue to work on a scratch art piece featuring a snowy owl.