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Artist - Laurie Sproul

About the Artist

I have had the good fortune to be able to grow up around the Northern Maine woods. There, I found a love and respect for nature as I spent my childhood camping, canoeing and exploring the mountains. I also developed a sense for the rewards of hard work and doing things right from helping my Dad on his carpentry hobbies and hanging out on the farm where my Mom was raised.

There was a proliferation of teachers in my family, so it seemed natural for me to head down the academic route. While working on a Master’s Degree in Oceanography, I found myself being drawn to the mystique of natural life that we can’t quite define, and the calming beauty of just being outdoors. I kept thinking of a flower I had carved in an elective wood sculpture course ten years earlier, and courses I had taken towards an art teaching certification. I finally realized that I was able to express the richness I found in nature through art better than through science. I followed my heart, left school and embarked on an artistic quest.

I started carving flowers and learned finish carpentry on the side to keep me going. I now have been a wood sculptor for over 10 years, and am captivated with the expressive qualities of wood. I find it has an inherent energy which, when sculpted, nurtured and given great respect, can be coaxed to bring to three- dimensional life my sketches and inspirations. I am drawn to working with flowers because they offer a great variety of shape and energy. My artistic motivation is, primarily, to create a composition that conveys the alluring spirit of nature and, secondarily, to accurately render features of each individual flower.

I begin each sculpture by repeatedly sketching the flower of interest. This gives me a feel for its patterns and character. I then design a composition to fit the space I’m working with. I select local woods for the particular piece, and sculpt and gouge until I feel it’s done. As a final touch, I finish my pieces with boiled linseed oil, bringing out the natural wood colors. The result is a dynamic expression of nature that calms the soul almost as much as a walk in the woods.

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