The Artwork of Patrick B. Pointer

Patrick B. Pointer, Master Woodcarver and Maritime Artist, Specializing in Great Lakes Maritime History

About Me

Artist Patrick B. Pointer

Artistic Philosophy

Relief Carving is much like learning to see, as if for the very first time, the essence that lives in our surroundings, the luminance within everything, and the light that it reflects.  An action captured in a moment of time with a mystic movement that travels beyond the stillness.


It is a miraculous visual music that can be heard and felt, a subtle supernatural force that is born of trusting my intuition enough to act upon it. My hope is for the viewer to ‘hear’ it, ‘encounter’ it and ‘live’ it, if for only the moment.


I attempt to isolate the single moment in time that defines the ‘essence’ of an image as simple as possible, in its true state of being, without extra or competing elements. To achieve this, I must be drawn to a story untold, where the eyewitnesses are gone, yet relived in the present from a new vantage point in time and space by the viewer.  The life and movement in our natural surroundings seem to parallel the backdrop of mind and spirit, from which I must choose as a conductor of an orchestra, the selectiveness of each movement within the piece as I create in wood, “A Moment In Time.” 


Beauty is said to be, “In the eye of the beholder.”  It is that spirit, which I desire to captivate.  What the eye sees, it paints its own story, from it’s own perspective, drawing the viewer into the piece, to live in this moment as they experience another’s world, another time, and the importance of being.  My desire is for the eye to see more than is actually there and for the viewer to take part as they create and tell their own story.



Influenced by the Great Lakes surroundings from Maritime and Historical themes to Wildlife and Nature, I use “Light” as my the main source, carving shadows and highlights into the wood to reveal a true beauty that lies deep within to create a monochromic almost photo-like picture, using perspective and vantage points to create a deeper depth in the wood than is actually there.


The Relief Carvings are nearly 3 Dimensional using primarily African and Honduras Mahogany, and other exotic woods such as Cherry, Black Walnut, Maple, and Pine, carving with a single light source using authentic chisels, knives, and other carving tools.  Other woods are used for birds and waterfowl such as Jelutong, from Malaysia and Tupelo Gum from the southern states.  I do my best to bring things to life within the smallest of details and yet create the illusion that teases the eye to say that there is more than is actually there.



Some of my background encompasses working in the automotive industry as a model and pattern maker, prior to becoming a full-time Ordained Minister of the Gospel with the Assemblies of God.  I now serve as a Senior Pastor of Manistee Assembly of God in Manistee, Michigan.  My artistic background stems back to Blackhawk, Colorado in 1978 where my largest sculpture of a Hawk measuring 23 feet high, was carved and erected out of a solid beam from a gold mine.  My works have taken me to various competitions across the United States and Canada in waterfowl carving, automotive artwork, and relief carving.  I also have many “Best of Show,” “People’s Choice” and “Judges  Choice” awards.  I have been fortunate to have works in many private and corporate collections ranging from General Motors Board Rooms, Dow Chemical Company, Doctor’s Offices, restaurants, to Home Collections and more.  My works have shown from the Ward Foundation in Maryland to the REO OLDS Transportation Museum in Lansing, Michigan, The Great Lakes Shipwerck Museum at White Fish Point, Michigan and many others.


It was a great honor to be requested to create two relief carvings as the Official Artwork for the 50th Anniversary of the Launching of the Edmund Fitzgerald held on June 7, 2008, to commemorate and celebrate all of those who had connections with the designing, engineering, building and the sailing of the “Mighty Fitz.”