When local artist Patrick Wayner's son was born two years ago, obviously his life changed forever. But so did his artistic life, as Wayner decided to be a stay-at-home dad and fully commit to his creative endeavors (and being a dad). The fruits of that choice, and labor, are paying off, as evidenced by Wayner's solo exhibition at Rivet Gallery, "Against the Grain."

When local artist Patrick Wayner's son was born two years ago, obviously his life changed forever. But so did his artistic life, as Wayner decided to be a stay-at-home dad and fully commit to his creative endeavors (and being a dad). The fruits of that choice, and labor, are paying off, as evidenced by Wayner's solo exhibition at Rivet Gallery, "Against the Grain."

For "Against the Grain," Wayner is showcasing his latest work - three-dimensional wood-cut sculptures depicting animals through a layering technique. The artist likes how this series bridges the past with his future.

"This is where everything has led to. I worked formally in two-dimensional [pieces] and this is the first time I've put together a three-dimensional project. I've gotten to the point where I felt they really work in the three-dimensional form," Wayner said of how he plans to continue the processes from "Against the Grain" for exhibits at Stone Village Church and Denmark Gallery in the fall.

For years Wayner's been creating vibrant two-dimensional designs that also incorporate wood accents that mingle nicely with his character work. But this latest endeavor has truly been defined by his love for the woodworking medium.

"I grew up in the basement of my parents' house where my dad had a woodshop," he said. "It feels like my whole life, and love of art and the love of wood, just all fit together [in this project]. It's really been a labor of love. It's been way more challenging, and fun, than anything I've done artistically to date. It's just the smell of wood; now it's just nostalgic for me. Every time I'm in [my basement studio] and cutting wood and smelling it, it brings me back to my childhood."

Wayner said he's been exploring layering woodcuts as a process for about a year and a half, and is pleased with the outcome. He should be. The intricately cut, painted and layered pieces are astounding in both construction and aesthetic. The deer piece (pictured) is the highlight, with 11 layers upon each other.