My Work: Spirit Art
As a native of the Pacific Northwest my childhood memories are of many happy hours exploring the great out doors where I learned to appreciate the beauty of nature and all that she brings to us. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington are all home to me as I continue to explore them. For me, every hike in the mountains, walk on a gravel bar, or trek in the desert is still a magic time that opens the possibilities for finding a new rock, a shed antler, or a uniquely patterned piece of wood. I am an eclectic soul, fascinated by the unlimited diversity found in the colors, patterns, shapes and structures of differing natural materials.
My art is all about discovering, and then using my hands and my tools to share the spirit I feel in ways that make it possible for others to appreciate it too. Finding and sculpting gifts from nature is one of my greatest joys. To me it is bringing out the essence. I enjoy blending the allure of raw materials with my own inner experience. My hope is to share this joy as I create. Human form, goddess, and spirit animal - each piece tells its own story. As I sculpt, the spirit emerges. When I begin a new piece I know it will take shape and form as I work with it, often changing several times during the process of carving or sketching. I believe this is part of why I still, after over 30 years, truly love my work: each finished piece is new, exciting, and often un-expected.
I have been inspired by ancient Celtic, Eskimo, Northwest Coast Native, New Zealand Maori, Mayan and Egyptian arts. I am also influenced by the flowing grace of Art Nouveau and of course by other contemporary artists, some of whom I know as friends. Though I never copy any specific style or piece of art, I strive to create images that convey a similar aesthetic of form, line and balance. To me, my spirit art is timeless, personal, and not bounded by any one culture.
My love of the ancient fossil walrus and wooly mammoth ivories still being found in the permafrost of the far north enticed me to Alaska in the early 80's. I sought to know more about this material and about the cultures that have carved it for millennia.
In 1983 I began showing my own artwork in Alaska and continued working with several other Art Galleries throughout the US. Since then I have annually traversed the territory between our homes in Mt. Hood, Oregon and Skagway, Alaska. In 2001 I decided to gather together all of the spirit art pieces from the diverse places it was being shown and opened "A Gathering of Spirits." This venue allows me to share the works of other artists I know and admire, and to have direct contact with many of the collectors of my work.
Hope you enjoy my efforts.
Steve Stegall 2012