I have recently moved to the Okanagan after spending most of my life in Kitimat, at the head of the Douglas Channel on B.C.’s north coast. This region is known for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife – including wolves, whales and grizzly bears, all of which are frequent subjects of my work. Bears particularly fascinate me. As an avid mountain biker, I’ve been fortunate to observe many of them in the wild. My work is inspired by these encounters. I sculpt bears because I am intrigued by their beauty, displays of emotion and obvious intelligence.
Stone is my chosen medium. From my first sculpting experience with stone in 2001, I was hooked. My connection with it was as natural and deep as it was immediate. I’ve worked in soapstone, wonder stone, jade, alabaster and slate. I enjoy all of these materials, but my favourite is soapstone. It polishes to a smooth finish and yields relatively easily to my tools – offering a creative freedom I’ve never experienced with any other medium.
My sculpting process is extremely intuitive. Typically, I don’t make a single cut into a piece of stone before understanding what that piece is going to be. Sometimes, that insight is immediate, while at other times, it takes weeks to emerge. When I do set to work, a creature’s rough outlines and expression can emerge within hours.
As I sculpt, I incorporate the unique faults, textures and hues of each piece of stone. A single work can take anywhere from one day to three months to complete. A good part of this time involves finishing and polishing. I regard a piece as successful when it conveys an animal’s unique personality and invites observers to reach out and touch it. My works express my personal style and artistic preferences. It’s that much more fulfilling when other appreciate and choose to display my sculptures.