Goodman, Virgil

Community: Port Angeles
Phone: 360-460-2786
Media: sculpture in wood and metal

Artist Statement

My principal mediums for sculpture are wood and sheet brass. I carve in wood from both harvested species such as Basswood and Walnut as well as found wood, often from along the sea shores here in the Pacific Northwest. I often incorporate wood and stone into my brass metal sculptures creating unique multi-media work.


Born and raised in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Colorado, I have many happy childhood memories of days spent exploring the creeks and fields around our home in search of any wildlife I could find. This early exposure to the beauty of nature has led to my passion for recreating such scenes in my art. My formative years of living and working on a cattle ranch in Eastern Colorado and later in Roberts, Montana led to a love of the western life-style and wildlife and the art it inspires.

I began my art training in the late 1960’s as a helper in my father’s studio. He was an accomplished artist creating artwork for commercial projects such as a 27 foot long, 6 horse stage coach scene which hung over the teller cages in the lobby of the Stock Growers State Bank in Worland, Wyoming. A Woodworker as well as Sculptor, I was inspired by his creativity and work ethics and guided by his principal philosophy which can be summed up in one sentence. “If it is worth cutting down a tree for, it is worth doing right.”

My style and technique of hand forming sheet brass into both free-standing and wall-hung sculptures was originally developed by my farther. This unique process results in work more closely associated with bronze castings rather than the usual flat appearance associated with many metal sculptures. However, unlike bronze castings that are often reproduced by the hundreds, this process results in a truly unique, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. Because each piece is hand formed without the use of any molds, each and every piece is unique. Working both in metal and wood I find the creative process very similar. However, the actual physical construction process is quite different. The thought process is reversed as I cut material and build up the form in my metal sculptures and start with a large piece of wood and cut down to my finished subject in my wood carvings. While I find both methods very satisfying artistically, I seem to always be more surprised and delighted at the results of my wood carving. When asked about my technique in wood carving, I’m reminded of a story that a when asked a similar question, one of the greatest stone carvers to have lived, Michael Angelo, simply answered , “The sculpture is already in the stone, I simply have to cut away everything else”. I’m always amazed at what I find hiding in a block of wood.

I am blessed with the opportunity to live and create here in the Pacific Northwest with my artistic partner and wife, Sandy, where inspiration is around every turn in the road. My hope is that in the artwork I create I can share some of my appreciation and amazement of the world around us with all who see my art.

Gallery Affiliations

Liberty Bay Gallery, Poulsbo, WA

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