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Artist Spotlight

Artist Sportlight - Arliss Newcomb

Through her work as a board member and registrar at past Camp Brotherhood symposia, Arliss has become recognized as part of the catalytic glue that holds NWSSA together.  Perhaps less well known and recognized is her considerable talent as an artist.  This interview provides an opportunity to display that side of this multi-talented woman. 

LE:  What is your life history as it relates to being an artist?

AN: As a child I wanted to draw great pictures, but my vision or view of an object was never in the flat plane.  I always saw things in my mind’s eye in the round.  When I was 7 or 8 years old my Father gave me my first pocketknife.  He was what people now would call a folk artist. He was a teacher, but as a hobby he whittled chains, pliers and hinged boxes out of one piece of wood and, because they moved, it was like magic.  So I became a bit of a whittler too and also a champion (for my age) Mumblety Peg player with my knife.  My 3rd grade teacher took it away and said, “Ladies don’t play with knives.”  I did get it back, but then, I had never aspired to being a LADY anyway.  I was interested in all kinds of art but never stuck to any one thing, possibly for lack of guidance, instruction or opportunity.

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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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