Medium:  Sculpture - Gourds

Phone:  707-762-8878



“An artist’s responsibility is to interpret and convey feelings and perspective of life.”

I portray within my sculpture the dignity of the human spirit. I attempt to project an essence of soul, an aura of mystery and a sense of movement to the images I present. My goal is to give the piece a life of its own.

I project a sense of uniqueness and character to my subjects in a realistic manner that will not only provide enjoyable art, but will touch the viewer in a special way.

My long term goals are to keep exploring, avoid repetition, take chances and stay in touch with my feelings. I want to create my art out of love for the subject and not because it’s in fashion or sells well.

While I find all materials challenging and exciting, stone for its strength, oil-based clay for its availability for free and extended form for casting into bronze, I truly love water-based clay for its plasticity and malleability, and for the fact that I can work faster with it, rapidly transforming my ideas into the sculpture.

My pieces are all made by hand and are one-of-a-kind. I use water-based clay, sometimes working in different colors; white, terra cotta and dark brown. They are air-dried until ready to be fired in the kiln. Sometimes I use a bronze patina on the fired piece, other times I just use a “wash” over the natural clay.

In recent years, I have added working with gourds to my repertoire. I enjoy the challenge of transforming the gourd into a beautiful piece of art using different mediums of dyes, paints and inks. I believe in creating a natural effect on my gourds and use adornments from Mother Nature as much as possible.

My sculptures and gourds are exhibited and sold throughout Sonoma and San Francisco Counties, and have been seen in shows as far away as Southern California and Nevada. In addition to creating these personal works of love, I also teach classes in sculpting to both adults and children in my Petaluma studio. Another sculpting processing I find enjoyable and rewarding is the challenge of repairing broken pieces of art work that are brought to me to restore them back to their original beauty.

Renee Shipley - African WarriorRenee Shipley - African Man