Saskatchewan sculptor in demand across North America
By Marty Logan
with permission from
At the end of a particularly grueling road trip years ago, Lloyd Pinay found himself burned out in a Miami hotel room.
"I said 'the heck with this marketing' and came back here."
Today the Saskatchewan sculptor is living a balance between the business of being an artist and the artist's business of creating. This is year 17 of living solely on his income as a sculptor.
"I don't think a person has to be the best artist in the world," Pinay said in an interview from his home near Borden, Sask., located 30 km northwest of Saskatoon, "but they have to be willing to go out and market."
He pauses, then Pinay stresses he doesn't want to downplay the artistry.
"You have to have a good production too . . . you have to be doing things to the best of your ability."
The sculptor's larger-than-life figures in bronze, stone and marble are appreciated throughout North America. In November he unveiled the model of the monument he will build to Aboriginal veterans. It will be erected in Ottawa. Last year Pinay's work of four buffalo and two human figures was erected at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon.
Pinay's creations have been honored at exhibits in Dallas and at the prestigious Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he was invited to show three years in a row.
Today he works primarily at a studio in Balcarres, 75 km east of Regina and minutes from his birthplace near Fort Qu'Appelle. Because he produces such large pieces (the veterans monument will be 9 m tall) Pinay said he spends much of his time supervising the technical work and sometimes not as much as he would like actually creating. To help with production, he hires people to do the molding and foundry work, after he has finished the model. Pinay then does the finishing.
"When it comes to approaching a subject now it's always a case of 'Hey, I've done that before,' but I can do it better now," he said with quiet candor. Members of the Birds of Prey Association of North America have told him he sculpts the most accurate eagle of any artist they know, said Pinay.
"By studying closely and working with a certain technique, you can (even) fool the birds," he said.
He remembers driving up a friends driveway near Santa Fe with an over-life-sized eagle in the back of his pickup truck. His friend's three dogs took one look -- "They were in dire terror."
Two raced into the house and one hid under the truck.
Not all his work is realistic, said Pinay, but it usually deals with "something to do with our space on the planet."
For the veterans monument he has purposefully highlighted the role of women in war.
"They tend to be left out of any traditional monument," he explained.
Pinay, who has made art "as far back as I can think," has calculated that over the past 17 years he has averaged 40 to 50 new works a year.
"The ultimate thing you shoot for is to do something that evokes emotion," he said.
"That's the ultimate compliment, when you do that for someone you've maybe not met before."
Meanwhile he reminds himself to do the marketing. And to call people back at Martha's Vineyard, a renowned art and vacation spot in New England.
"They've been bugging me for work for the longest time."
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