Artists of the Methow Valley and beyond

Joan Lasse

  • 509.997.0661
  • jelasse[at]gmail.com
  • Website
PO Box 815
Twisp, WA 98856

Mediums:

  • Drawing
  • Jewelry
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

About The Artist

I was born in Monteagle, Tennessee in 1952 to parents who dedicated their lives to peace and human rights. I credit them for teaching me the basics of life, tolerance and non-violence.

I don’t know where I got my love for animals but it has always been there. Transforming that into art was logical, as both my parents were artists and craftspeople.

The circle of life was coming around when my parents moved the family to Oregon. There I took art classes at Lane Community College and began exploring coastal waters. In 1977 my mother handed me a rock and said, “Its soapstone, you carve it.” From two small pieces came a jumping fish and a howling wolf. One hundred carvings later, some going overseas, I still have the same answer as to where I learned my craft. Simply put, I see things in the rock.

In 1980 I migrated to the Methow Valley. Nestled by the mountains, it became home, which I share with bears, deer, elk, moose, coyote, salmon, eagles and just about every other woodland creature. Just as readily I sought whale sightings and other ocean life when the rhythm of the ocean tides called to me.

A class through the North Cascade Institute intrigued me. It was three days aboard the 65-foot research vessel, the Snow Goose, studying form line art. Under the guidance of Scott Jensen, master carver, I learned the basic forms of coastal art. I think it was Scott’s enthusiasm and knowledge that got me immersed in the people and their art. We not only studied the design elements but we went to the Royal British Columbia Museum and saw who these people are and the use of natural resources around them to create such a rich culture. I studied more on my own and went to the Makah Celebration to experience more of their songs and dance. Early in the morning I walked to Cape Flattery, thinking back thousands of years. Just as I reached the overlook I heard a whale spouting below me. I ran up onto the wood deck in time to watch this magnificent creature go by. That was when I knew I was on the right path as our two worlds came together. I know now why ideas flowed like spring run-off, how natural and spiritual worlds blended, why animals called to me to take this ancient form. I was a part of all creation. Like the river it flowed at will. Follow life’s journey.