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.