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Artist Spotlight

Artist Sportlight - Dahrl Thompson

Dahrl came over from her home in Provo, Utah to attend her first Camp Brotherhood symposium in 2001.  She made many new friends and, through her work and slide show, impressed everyone with artistic talent.  Now we all have a chance to learn more about her as a person and artist.  



LE:  By way of introduction, tell us a little about why you became an artist and what influenced your direction in art.

DT: It’s my mother’s fault....She gave me the name, Dahrl, which “forced” me to be unique, and hence, an artist.  Trouble is, being “unique” often causes problems.  My high school graduation diploma was held in a pile with the “rest” of the boys’, causing great panic and fear on my part-thinking that I hadn’t really graduated….The Army tried to draft me during the Vietnam Era....And this last summer at Camp Brotherhood, I had been assigned to room with two “fellows,” as in “men” carvers.  However, my husband appreciated the fact that Arliss quickly remedied that situation!

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Artist Spotlight - Joanne Duby

Joanne Duby is an artist and teacher known to many of us, mainly through her classes at  Camp Brotherhood and this year, the Silver Falls Symposium.  She is not only a talented, consummate artist, but also a very generous and valuable instructor who never fails to impart essential tips and information to any carver.  She is a resident artist at Art City Studios in Ventura, California, and works full time as a sculptor and teacher. This interview took place on the premises of Art City Studios on October 15, 2001.

SS:  Tell us a little about your early beginnings as an artist, where you studied, whom you’ve worked with, and how it all began.

JD:  My mother was a frustrated painter, but she did many things to keep me amused. She would get me involved in art projects to keep me busy and confine my messes. My grandfather was a big influence as well, being a wood worker who had a workshop in the basement.  He was a cement finisher by trade and I remember going with him to work while he was working on the World’s Fair in Seattle when I was young.  He did the finishing on all those big arches you see.  He was a neat guy.  So between my Mom and my grandfather, I grew up familiar with tools and knowing how to use my hands.

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Artist Spotlight - Heather Cole

Heather is an artist that can invigorate any listener with her love for sculpting and her drive to create art and she has certainly accomplished a lot since she started her journey.  Heather was incredibly available and giving of her thoughts for this interview which was conducted about six months ago via numerous emails.  Thank you Heather!

SS: The beginning is always a good place to start. Has art always been a part of your life?

HC:  I have always loved creating things.  At an early age I would sketch faces and write poetry.  My father made art: sculpting, painting, building, things like that when I was a child, but he always kept it hidden under the guise of a “hobby”.

I don’t think the choice of becoming an artist happened overnight.  It was more a slow unfolding with many stops and starts.  Yet, there are two times that stand out as pivotal commitment moments.  The first took place in Italy about three years ago.  My friend, Erica, and I took advantage of an opportunity to live and make art in a small village named Pacentro in central Italy.  Her uncle had an empty apartment there.  It was paradise.  I would paint all day and socialize all night with the locals over a scrumptious meal.  Mid-way through this adventure I had a strong desire to create something with more substance than a painting.  A friend suggested sculpting to me and brought me a hunk of clay.  The movement and feel of three-dimensional art felt right.  My hands flowed with ease during the process.  Yet I wanted more and soon bumped into the local stone sculptor.  Immediately thereafter he whisked me off to his studio and taught me the preliminaries to stone sculpting well into the night! Three months later it was time to return to America. I promised myself to pursue art in a more serious manner then I had previously done.

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Artist Sportlight - Jan Willing

Jan WillingThis interview took place with Jan Willing via email in early 2001.  Once in a while you get an opportunity to meet a sculptor whose innate love and feel for the stone, combined with sheer joyful energy, just radiates.  Jan is one such artist. Talking with her and sharing her thoughts was an energizing and fresh experience. Thank you, Jan for participating and giving us a glimpse into your magical world.

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Artist Spotlight - Phil Montague

Phil Montague - This interview was completed with Phil Montague via e-mail last month.  It reveals a talented carver who is constantly expanding his knowledge and is willing to take risks to pursue his art form. 

SS: When did you first develop an interest in art and sculpture, Phil?
PM: I suppose that I first became interested in creating three-dimensional forms when I was about 10, as I began building airplane models.  In those olden times, models weren’t usually assembled from pre-shaped parts.  Rather, they were carved from

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Artist Spotlight - Lloyd Whanell

This interview with Lloyd Whannell was a pleasure to write; the conversations took place via email and in person at Camp Brotherhood this past July.  For those of you unfamiliar with Lloyd as a carver— the sight of his dusty face, bandana in place around his hair, his brilliant blue eyes and his warm smile, this interview will be an opportunity to learn about his artistic persona and his enthusiasm about his art. Lloyd also talks with us about his duties as President of the NWSSA and some of his hopes for its future.

SS:   Hi Lloyd.  Let’s start with what really interests all of us, your history as an artist, your beginnings in artistic pursuits.

LW:  I came to stone sculpting from working in clay. About 12 years ago I realized that I needed some form of artistic expression in my life, so I went back to school, taking classes in drawing and architectural history at the University of Washington.  That led me to pottery and clay figure sculpting, which led me to stone sculpting. I did some figurative clay sculpting classes here on the island with Jan Brown, and she introduced me to the NWSSA through the Whidbey workshop. That’s how I began with the NWSSA.

In many ways I don’t really consider myself an artist.  I think of myself as someone who makes beautiful things.  Philosophically I don’t really think about it.  Being an “artist” does come into play in my thought process.  I like to make simple, elegant and beautiful pieces in stone that please me, which is really all that matters.

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