MOTH 2021 Auction ITEM79

Otters Chasing Salmon

Estimated Value:$8,000

byJ. Chester "Skip" Armstrong

Wooden Wall Sculpture - Appr. 4' W ' 4' H x 3' D

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Donated by the Sisters Schools Foundation- Can be viewed in person at Coldwell Banker in Sisters, OR.

"Wood sculpture, like stone sculpture, is a subtractive process. You "take away" to reveal the form within. It is arduous and demanding and combines both artistic inspiration and physical perspiration. It is yielding but not forgiving. It does not allow for mistakes. But wood is organic, warm and "alive" and creates a "one of a kind" unique piece of art that traces it's beginnings back to the living tree blown by the wind and fed by the sun and waters of the earth. Today, more than ever, we need "reverence to the natural world." My wood sculpture is, "the water that quenches that thirst." It is the touching and being touched by the spirit of the Earth."

Artist Statement: Armstrong is a self taught artist with a "can do attitude." He helped run a YMCA camp at Spirit Lake, Washington, before Mt. St. Helen blew, in the early '70s and wanted to introduce the campers to Native American North West totem poles and masks. He couldn't find anyone to teach the class so took on the role of teacher himself and found he had a natural gift for shape and proportions. "I can seek the forms in the raw logs. It is like Michelangelo says, "Just take away everything that doesn't look like nine horses running."  And for the last forty years -- chainsaws, grinders, and chisels in hand -- Armstrong has done just that. "I'm hooked on wood sculpture." Out of local Oregon woods, (e.g. juniper, maple, pine, and walnut) Armstrong carves the world he sees surrounding...eagles, ospreys, wolves, cougars...coyotes howling at the moon...herons perched majestically at the rivers edge..."the magic of life"..." This is what moves him.