Welcome to my portfolio AND GALLERY STORE SITE. I HOPE YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU SEE HERE AND YOU CHECK BACK OFTEN AS I AM ALWAYS TRYING NEW CARVINGS AND TECHNIQUES. ALL MY WORKS ARE ONE OF A KIND AND ARE CARVED AND COLORED BY HAND. ENJOY!
AUGUST 18, 19 & 20, 2017
109 capitol street - yankton, sd 57078
Riverboat Days 2017
Live Carving Showcase outside Twist of Pine and the Ron Livingston Gallery
There will be additional carvings available this weekend, not normally on display at the Gallery. For a huge selection, don't miss this event.
MAY 3, 2017 - KSFY News FEATURING RON
Ron Livingston says he's no artist, but his work says otherwise.
He carves creatures out of a special chalk like rock. This idea all came about because of one of his ancestors.
"My grandpa's sister, he took a picture of her in 1924 next to this old Lincoln head. That's been there forever, and we've seen it, as kids we've seen it. It was on my cousin's ground, but it finally caved off and fell down. This is the idea I had. I've never done a Lincoln head because it's been done. I do all my own original stuff. It turned into a little monster is what it did," Livingston said.
The Lincoln head was carved in chalk-like rock from the banks of the Missouri River.
This unique rock is only found in a few spots in the entire world. It's no longer legal to get from the river, so Ron actually uses remains from old houses that were built from the rock decades ago.
"As kids we used to shoot it, throw it, write on sidewalks with it, because it's just like chalk. Like I said, I had an idea, and I thought I would see what happens," Livingston said.
Now, he's been carving for years.
"Beings I live here, but I can't take it off the river, but there are still all these houses by Tabor and Tyndall made out of that, that's where I'm getting my rock. It's actually easier to get to now. Sooner or later I was going to have a bluff fall down on me or something, digging around by that river," he said.
Not only is this artwork made in South Dakota, from a part of South Dakota, it's also South Dakota inspired. Ron spends a lot of his spare time fishing out on the Missouri River, and he says that's where he thinks some of his best ideas.
"I got those fish mounts up top, I've had trophy stuff over the years. That's what I use for my detail. I can see where I have a fin in the wrong place. My first one didn't turn out pretty. There is a whole creek full of broken ones down here," he said.
Now, after carving hundreds, Ron has gotten his craft down. He doesn't paint the pieces either.
"I tried painting, that fills in too much detail and takes too long, so I got thinking why not chalk on chalk."
Ron says he heads to the shop whenever he can't sleep, carving up to 15 or 16 hours a day, unless it's a good fishing day.
A store in Yankton handles a majority of Ron's sales. It even takes personal requests. If you have a personal request or would like some of his artwork. Check out the attached links.
Ron spends the early hours before dawn carefully selecting the perfect slab of Niobrara chalk rock, reclaimed from century-old, abandoned and dilapidated homes in southeastern South Dakota.
Livingston’s specialty is crafting one-of-a-kind carvings of the native wildlife that he has encountered in his home state.
Livingston has been carving from chalk rock since 2000, but he only began marketing his creations a couple of years ago. He has numbered all his carvings and is excited to start the planning for #1000 - it surely will be something special. Watch for additional information on this coming soon.
Ron has a longstanding tradition of donating Carved Crosses to Springfield, SD Churches for Baptisms.
Chalk Rock is not legally able to be harvested from the bluffs of the Missouri River, so Ron tears down old houses to find his raw chalk rock. Watch the website for a future video of this process.
Although he’s well-known by his carvings now, it took years of trial and error for Livingston to hone his craft, and he’s got a creek full of imperfect carvings to prove it.
Creative Web Design - Twist of Pine Marketing - copyright 2016