Henry Watson was only fifteen years old when he started wood carving. Ever since then, he has been able to turn old scraps of cypress wood into remarkable works of art. The beauty captured in Watson’s three-dimensional-style woodcarvings allows the viewer to step into its scenes, transporting one back to an 1800’s Louisiana landscape.
The artist uses all cypress wood that is at least 150 years old. By traveling the country roads of Louisiana, Watson searches for dilapidated homes and buildings for the use of its cypress wood. “Old cypress is the best quality, and the straight grain of the wood makes carving easier. Plus, when I come across these older buildings and homes I have to ask myself about its history because I can’t help but wonder who lived there and what took place. These pieces of cypress wood that I use tell a story,” he stated.
Watson is recognized not only on a local level, but many have sought out the talented artist from across the state and country and even the world. He not only has had the honor of having one of his pieces of artwork hanged in the Louisiana’s Governor’s Mansion, but has also had a picture of Pope John Paul II hanging in the Vatican in Rome. Watson’s woodcarvings may have traveled across the world, but like the history that lies in the 150-year-old cypress he uses to carve his portraits, it is a love of a culture and home that captures Watson’s heart.