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  • 2017 NW Flower & Garden Show

    NWSSA Member Group Show  Booth #25022017 NW Flower & Garden Show

    2017 Northwest Flower and Garden Show
    February 22 - 26, 2017
    Washington State Convention Center

    The NorthWest Stone Sculptors Association has been participating in this show for over 20 years. Many new members, symposium visitors, and attendees have discovered us through this venue! The Northwest Flower and Garden Show boasts over 100,000 visitors each year, stopping by our booth to learn a little about geology and speak directly with our artist members about the types of stone and tools we use to create our art. We even persuade a few to try their hand at hand carving in our demo booth!

    The show runs from Wednesday, February 22nd to Sunday, February 26th. Hours are 9 AM to 8 PM except on Sunday, 9 AM to 6 PM.  Please stop by and visit us!

    Seal IMG 41751 Frog, by Gene Carlson IMG 41841
  • 2018 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

    Call to Artists 2018 nwfgs
    Northwest Flower and Garden Show
    February 7 - 11, 2018 
    This is a Call to Artists for all Members of NWSSA to participate in the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, which boasts over 100,000 visitors each year. If you have never shown your work, this is a great place to start! NWSSA has been participating in this show for over 20 years, and many new members and Camp Brotherhood/Camp Pilgrim Firs show visitors have discovered us through this venue!
  • Betty Faves Memorial Gallery Exhibition

    Gallery Exhibition Opportunity 

    The Betty Feves Memorial Gallery at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon is currently accepting submissions for consideration for the 2018-19 academic year. Emerging artists are highly encouraged to apply.
  • Call for Artists

    The following are links to helpful sites with information, resources more calls for artists in all disciplines:

      Here is a link to the Artist Trust site:

    Here is a link to CaFE site which serves as an aggregator for artist calls:  

    racc logo masthead
    Here is a link to the Regional Arts & Culture Council:

  • Madrona Grove Anacortes

    Madrona Grove Sculpture Exhibition 2018

    By Windermere Real Estate, Administered by the Anacortes Arts Commission and the City of Anacortes, Parks and Recreation

    The Anacortes Arts Commission is very pleased to announce the second annual outdoor sculpture exhibition to be held in the park-like setting of the madrona grove and surrounding area of the Depot Art Center (611 R Avenue) in downtown Anacortes, WA. The nine-month exhibition will feature twelve sculptures selected through an open juried competition.
  • Why Do We Carve?

    Conversations with Four Carvers

    Our past two “Conversations” [March/April issue asked the question “Where do you get ideas for your sculpture?” July/August issue asked “When is it your art?”] have not only been fun to put together, but also well-received. The Conversation in this issue asks the all-too-broad question “Why do we carve?” Four of our fellow carvers have courageously shared some of their deepest feelings regarding the carving process, and we want to personally thank Bill and Doug and Vic and Barbara for stepping up.


    Barbara Davidson
    Bill Weissinger
    Doug Wiltshire
    Vic Picou

    BARBARA DAVIDSON  ISABEL 18 inches high limestone by Barbara Davison

    I began my adventure in art twenty eight years ago when my 3 children were all in school and I needed to see if my brain still worked. I took a Visual Forum Course in 1987 at Okanagan University College which awakened my creativity. Following a move to Vancouver, I earned a Diploma in Fine Arts at Langara Community College. I went on to earn my Bachelor of Arts at Okanagan University College in Kelowna in 1995. I am the epitome of “Leo the Late Bloomer.” I graduated at the tender age of 52.

    While still in Vancouver I met George Pratt (one of the founders of NWSSA) whom I will always refer to as my mentor and friend. His encouragement (he was actually very pushy) led me to Camp Brotherhood in 1993 where I fell in love with stone and my fellow dusty, dirty playmates at Camp B. Twenty two years later I continue to plan my holidays in July for the trip south and inspiration gathering. Each summer I feel like a beginner and so appreciate the wonderful support so freely offered. This summer I was struggling to create what I thought was going to be a swan out of Brucite. My dear friend MJ Anderson lovingly pointed out that my errant swan could indeed be an owl. A swan? What was I thinking? I clearly see the outline of an owl now. It is a work in progress. I still need to remember that the stone is the boss and it is my privilege and responsibility to see that the image within the stone is released.

    Ever since I saw Brancusi sculptures, I, like many others, was captivated and inspired by the flowing graceful lines, the simplicity, and perfection of his work. The human form and forms in nature also informed my work and much to my surprise, I have created a few animal shapes which, at one time, I vowed never to do. My belief at that time was that George Pratt, Michael Binkley and Native Indians carved animals – that was their wheelhouse, not mine. But apparently not.

    Although I have sold many of my sculptures and have been involved in three public shows, I have never carved for anything but selfish pleasure. I carve only at Camp Brotherhood, my excuse being that I do not have a studio, time, etc. Yes, I know. One of my greatest discoveries during my early carving days was that when I am fully engaged, four hours can feel like a few minutes. This is what I refer to as the “Zen Effect.”

    With Camp B over for this year, I have packed away my stone and my tools. I know they will wait with me for next year and another sculpture.

    Bear with Salmon by Bill Weissinger

    Bill Weissinger

    I carve stone to create something new that addresses an inner need. I could do that in three dimensions with clay, or in two with paint, encaustic or pastel, but the fine particles of clay have only the life the artist gives it. The same is true of featureless white canvases. I prefer working with a medium that has its own personality, each stone different but all with their own opinions. Plus I confess my aptitude leans more toward subtractive rather than additive media.

    I don’t carve to sell, but selling work is important to me. If a friend says “I love that salmon,” that’s sweet, but if she says “I love that salmon – here is a check for $3,000,” then I know she loves it. Van Gogh sold only one of his more than 900 painting during his lifetime, and yet he kept painting. I don’t have his strength of character, flawed though it was. Thomas Wolfe said that “[t]here are two kinds of writer’s block. One is when you freeze up because you think you can’t do it. The other is when you think it’s not worth doing.” The critic who sits on my shoulder already scoffs at my work; if I didn’t sell anything, I’d have no proof that what I do is worth doing. That said, I have no interest in making sculptures the only purpose of which is to be sold.

    What if I were left alone on a desert island equipped with an art studio, protected both from approval and from condemnation? I think I’d open the basement to my soul and invite out the devils. (That, or I’d watch a lot of television.). My guess, though, is that my executor would find troubling sculptures dealing with anger, hate, guilt, sex and desire. Even now in some of my artwork, I’m toying with the handle to the basement door. Will I open it? Perhaps, but I’d be on my own: there is no art market in Friday Harbor for some of the work my basement devils might craft, such as the clay model gathering dust in my garage of a half-man, sculpted from waist to feet, spiked through his abdomen to a stake. His phallus is erect; his legs writhe in agony. Yikes! Close that door!

    Tim Burton, the moviemaker, is good at opening up his art to what lies in his basement. He says that “[m]ovies are like an expensive form of therapy for me.” Like Burton, I make my sculptures as much for the therapy as the art.

    I also sculpt stone because if it doesn’t like what I’m doing it fights back. Sometimes I have to struggle to get what I want out of my stone, and I like that. Of course, I like it in part because (I’ve just knocked on wood) more often than not I win the struggle. Sometimes the stone and I are of like minds, and then we do this nice little dance together. As many of you know, I like dancing.

    Doug WiltshireDoug Wiltshire

    Art is a different to each individual as we are to the entire collective. It is the marvelous that stands before us in our social reality, which we call life.
    I have spent most of my life as an artist, never to let my self be harnessed into one genre or medium. It is my personal assertion that all of these “things” that we work with are interconnected.
    The purpose of my work could be many things. In my custom Jewelry it is primarily to help others signify a special touchstone event in their lives. While sculpting bronze, wood, clay or stone I try to evoke a feeling or emotion that strikes me while I am in the design phase.
    I have had good years where money was not the primary for my work. During those times I feel I was the most creative. I am a full time student at U of O working on my Fine Art and Folklore degrees. The financial expenses connected with tuition are enormous. At times I feel too pressed to turn on the creative process.Billick by Doug Wiltshire
    I feel that when I am done with school I will be pouring myself into writing and creating with a greater level of understanding concepts of design.

    Vic PicouVictor Picou

    The purpose of my art is to express “my force within.” Having been “farm raised” with parents and 15 siblings as #16, I was creative, independent and a hard worker like the rest. My father was a farmer/carpenter, my mother, also a farmer/dress maker and milliner. With repeated voice commands, they taught me “the world don’t owe you a living boy” (Dad) and “you can always do more than you think” (Mother). I learned to obey and work hard, yet I found time to be creative and to be alone (much needed my artists).

    It took me a long time, however, to be honest with my art and to really “bring it out.”. The voice of my heart, the feelings in my gut, the fantasies in my head, and what I observe around me – inspires and influences my studio practice: what I carve in stone, model in clay or sketch with charcoal and pencil.

    I do not create for the market, though I have followed guidelines and budget for commissions. I give a nod to the stars above, when someone sees a value in my sculpture and wants to own it. This validates that I’m not the only one who loves it.

    Early in life, I thought that an artist needed expensive materials and tools. . Later in life, I remembered that at age 6, I was digging clay in our Texas yard to model my horses, people and cars. Over 60 years later, I enjoy natural resources: stone and clay, to create unique expressions. This connection with the Earth and the universe is important.

    My motto is “expressing what I love through art.” It’s all autobiographical folks. Just look at my art and then you can write the book; what I’m about, where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced. I approach my art with a professional attitude, but I’m fortunate that I don't rely on sales for my living. It is a pleasure striving to be an artist with frequent help from Everett DuPen, Jacob Lawrence, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sabah Al-Dhaher and Richard Hestekind.

    In my early years of ‘old age,’ I am gaining a deeper understanding of expressing “my force within” with painting, creative writing and with more works in stone.

    It’s been a grand experience being a member of NWSSA since 1986. Everyone who has kept NWSSA a wonderful network, deserves a nod from the stars above.

    Victor Picou
    Burbank, CA