Len Starbeck: Artist & Adventurer​

I grew up in Northern California.  After high school I worked as a carpenter and rough necked in the Utah Oil Fields on many drilling and service rigs.  My brother, father, uncles and granddad were sailors, and I was compelled to join the Navy as well. I have been involved with medicine for about 40 years and taught (tactical medicine, 1st aid, CPR and dive medicine) for at least 30 years. My bride and I bought a Park City timeshare about 33 years ago and are working on 35 years of marriage.  We settled in San Diego for some 25 years but never forgot our love of Park City.  We enjoy the year-round activities Park City has to offer, especially skiing.  This is a majestic and magical place and Swaner’s Preserve is the heart of Park City as far as we are concerned.  After some 30 plus years with the US Navy and government contracting in and out of San Diego and some 39 countries, we finally decided to move to Park City.
Extracting Turquoise from Seam

In the last 8 years, I had been working as a surgical nurse overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jordan and even in the South China Seas. I recently got a position as an OR Nurse here at the great Park City Medical Center. Since then I have started travel nursing as an operating room nurse last year and plan another contract soon.

I have been diving for abalone for some 50 years and was excited to discover I could use the abalone shells for various art pieces. Last year, due to a special season permit, I collected more abalone shells combined than I had 50 years prior. Collecting them whole or broken with a 30-to-40-pound load and backpacking them up to my truck sometime three and four times a day. I have used a hammer and a 3,000 pound steam roller to crush abalone shells and polish them with handfuls of gravel in a cement mixer.

A few years ago, I built a wood shop / studio and am happy call myself an artist after retiring twice now. We do sell as vendors in art shows when we can get approved for the competing art shows. I started re-purposing antiques, photography, making wooden ski coat racks and framing preserve flowers. I am available for custom projects.

Artist at Large – Extracting turquise from seam in desert rock formation.