Les Dunlop was born in Trail BC and raised in Kitimat on the North Coast of British Columbia where he has lived from the age of five. Since graduating high school in 1973, he has tried many different occupations, Welder, Marine Mechanic, Ships mate, and Fishing guide along the Douglas Channel. Since 1980 he has worked as a papermaker in his local Paper mill.
He is an avid mountain biker and spends a lot of his time riding the many trails and back roads of the area. The silence of his bike allows him to observe and photograph a lot of wildlife, mainly bears. These encounters are the inspiration for much of his artwork.
Art has been an important part of his life since an early age. He has tried his hand at oil painting, pen and ink and detailed wood decoys and of course stone sculpture, all with gratifying results.
He first tried carving Soapstone in October 2001, when a friend gave him a small piece of stone. He was immediately taken by the freedom the stone allows, with out the hassle of sharpening chisels and the noise of power tools.
The first cut into a piece of stone is never easy, getting to that point often takes weeks of studying the stone from all angles. The process of getting the shape of the piece usually goes quickly. There is always a point where the personality of a piece begins to appear. It is at this point which it is no longer a chunk of stone, but rather the birth of a new piece which I have had the privilege of creating. While sculpting a piece I strive for appreciation in its entirety, by this I mean I try to eliminate conflicts. It is easy for me to replicate a real bear with large ears and small feet, but the overall effect can have conflicts, even though that is how a real bear may appear in life. When frozen in stone with little artistic impression, such a piece can appear disproportionate. It is far more difficult to give a piece emotion and impression so you feel overall pleasure with it, even with less resemblance to an actual animal. If I have achieved this then I am confident that I have eliminated all conflicts.