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august 2012

Dr. Scott Lieberman O. Rufus Lovett Tammy Cromer-Campbell Scott Campbell Betty Northcutt Views from different angles

Musician Terry Salyer The art of the skateboard Just an extra day at the office

Photographs by Dr. Scott Lieberman.


publisher’s

NOTE

Piney Woods Live is pleased to welcome two new contributors to our magazine. While their backgrounds are vastly different, they each bring a unique style and perspective to their work. We hope you will find them to be as interesting and informative as we do. Gary B. Borders The work of Gary B. Borders will be familiar to many readers in the piney woods. He is the former publisher of the Longview NewsJournal and has worked in the newspaper business for more than 40 years as a photographer, writer, editor and publisher. Since 1982, he has written and published a weekly column of personal and professional reflection. More than one regular reader of these essays has come to feel they know Gary better than they know some of their own family members. His columns have been collected into two books, The Loblolly Chronicles and Behind the Pine Curtain. Borders is also the author of A Hanging in Nacogdoches – Murder, Race, Politics, and Polemics in Texas’ Oldest Town, and he tells us that a fourth work is currently early in the research stage. His books are available on his website: www.garyborders.com. In this month’s issue, Gary profiles a married couple, Tammy CromerCampbell and Scott Campbell, who are both accomplished photographers. Gary is still writing a weekly column. You can find the latest as well as the work of other East Texas bloggers, at www.pineywoodslive.com/news/in/ blog/. Claudia Lowery Claudia Lowery began her artistic journey at the side of her mother, an artist and art teacher. After moving from the Dallas area to Marshall several years ago, she began volunteering at the Marshall Visual Art Center and there came in contact with other artists who encouraged her to expand beyond “dabbling” in the visual arts. “Art is personal, but it’s also community,” she says. “It is a shared journey reflecting the emotions and spirituality of an individual’s experiences. I was impacted by the fellowship of local artists encouraging me to go deeper, push myself beyond comfort, to experiment.” Her work in clay sculpting, painting, and photography ultimately earned her a solo exhibition at the Visual Art Center last November. She will be the featured “Artist in the Window” at the Marshall Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for the month of October. Recently retired from her “day job” as a teacher of middle school art in Marshall ISD, Claudia now has more time to pursue her creative endeavors, including her talent as a writer. You can find Claudia’s article on three photographers: John Kay, Tammy Pruitt, and Jamin Bickel in this issue. Her work also appears regularly on PineyWoodsLive.com.

For several months now, we have been planning to hold a reception that would bring together our contributors, artists, sponsors, staff and friends and give them a chance to meet and become better acquainted. (Perhaps “planning” is too strong a word. “Thinking about” would come closer to describing the actual process.) Last month, we finally broke through the chaos of our everyday operations and actually came up with a date, booked singer/songwriter/columnist Randy Brown to perform, arranged for artists/contributors Jan Statman and Karen Dean to display some of their art, and ordered fruit, cheese, and wine. The “Shindig,” as it has come to be known, will be August 2, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Piney Woods Live offices in Longview. You all are invited.

Gary Krell, Co-Publisher

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content PINEY WOODS

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Our First Annual Photography Issue: Welcome to our First Annual Photography issue! We are pleased to introduce you to just some of the photographers in the Piney Woods of East Texas who have turned photography into an artform. We hope you will enjoy reading about them. Some of them you may already know and will get to know better.

Art is defined as a product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. Piney Woods Live is an expression of the community it serves. Photographer Dr. Scott Lieberman .............................. 4 Photographer O. Rufus Lovett .................................... 6 Artist Profiles .............................................................. 8 Tammy Cromer-Campbell & Scott Campbell ............ 10 Jan Statman’s Artist’s World ...................................... 12 Randy Brown’s The B-Side of Music ......................... 13 Photographer Betty Northcutt ................................... 14 Bark for Love ............................................................ 16 The art of the skateboard .......................................... 18 Karen Dean’s Beyond Mere Thoughts ....................... 19

“Birds on a Wire” - Photograph by Dr. Scott Lieberman

Views from different angles ....................................... 20 Photograph by Scott Campbell

Local musician Terry Salyer ...................................... 24 Gladewater’s Main Street Art Stroll ........................... 27 Tony McCullough’s Just an extra day at the office .... 28 Ink Life Tattoo & Music Festival .............................. 30 The East Texas Bonsai Society ................................... 30 Publishers / Editors Tracy Magness Krell & Gary Krell Advertising Director Suzanne Warren

Photograph by Tammy Cromer-Campbell

Public Relations Randi Garcia Contributing Writers Jan Statman, Jimmy Isaac, Gary Borders, Randy Brown, Claudia Lowery, Jim King, Karen Dean, Tony McCullough, Fallon Burns, Louis Statman Graphic Artists Tracy Krell, Joni Guess,

“Horseboy” - Photograph by O. Rufus Lovett

“Smokin’ Hot - 1938 Chevy Coupe” - Photograph by Betty Northcutt

Mary Hernandez, Jeremiah Shepherd Sales Randi Garcia, Donna Vincent, April Harlow, Fallon Burns

How to reach us: 903-758-6900 or 800-333-3082 info@pineywoodslive.com Fax 903-758-8181 100 W. Hawkins Pkwy., Suite C., Longview, Texas 75605

Kathy Hollan, Cookie Bias, Suzanne Warren, Carolee Chandler

Sign up for our newsletter by going to our website: PineyWoodsLive.com © 2012 by Piney Woods Live. All rights reserved. This publication, its associated website and their content is copyright of Piney Woods Live. Any reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher is prohibited.

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photography “The Photo” launches Tyler doctor’s career with the Associated Press by Jimmy Isaac When Dr. Scott Lieberman’s now iconic image of the space shuttle Columbia exploding over Texas splashed across major newspapers and Time Magazine, many professional photojournalists were quick to dismiss his opportunistic photo as circumstantial luck.

Dr. Lieberman in Alaska. The photo – a seemingly streaming starburst across a blue February 1, 2003 sky – gave the world its first images of the shuttle explosion that killed seven crew members. Within a year, an estimated 2.4 billion people had seen Lieberman’s photo, which garnered a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In a recent visit with Piney Woods Live, the 50-year-old Tyler cardiologist chuckled as he recalled hearing photojournalists’ grumblings: “‘Oh well, this was just a random guy who caught a picture,’” or, “’Too bad a real photographer didn’t take this picture.’” “The Photo,” as he calls it, began Lieberman’s career as an Associated Press independent contract contributor for the past nine years. He snaps his camera throughout the world on his own time, sometimes flooding the syndicated news market with his images. During a recent visit and cruise in Alaska, he captured the image of a whale breaching the sea’s surface. By the time he reached Anchorage, the photo was above the fold on the local newspaper’s front page that day, he said. “The people on the ship just thought that was so cool,” Lieberman remembered. “I would kind of view that as selling ice to the Eskimos, to sell a picture of a whale to the Anchorage paper.” Many of his Alaskan images involve glaciers – either felling trees in a dense forest or breaking apart in large chunks and falling into bodies of water. Using his phone, Lieber-

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man flips through those pictures and others that he has taken over the years, from lightning strikes over Tyler, or looking down over Tyler from a helicopter, or of the Texas Stadium implosion from atop the bell tower of nearby University of Dallas. He has a collection of celebrity shots, from Sarah Palin to Miranda Lambert, Howie Mandel and Gladys Knight, mostly because he photographs many performances at the University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center. Like most photographers, he has thousands of images. Unlike most amateur photographers, Lieberman’s images are published around the world in newspapers and magazines and online. His space program images generally receive play in major publications despite competing, in a sense, with hundreds of photojournalists. The reason for his success may stem from how he acquired the images. On one occasion, he was among about 150 photojournalists at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, La., waiting to photograph a 747 carrying the shuttle Discovery. The plane and shuttle landed before daybreak in December 2008, and photographers clicked perhaps thousands of images of its landing

“Challenger Night” and eventual takeoff, but after the 747 reentered the skies, the photographers and television news crews packed up and headed to their vehicles. Lieberman, seeing that the 747 and shuttle took off to the west, realized that they would have to turn toward the southeast to reach Cape Canaveral, Fla. He took out two long lenses and prepared to capture the plane and shuttle flying in the orange morning sunrise skies. Several other photojournalists noticed. “They had their shot. That was the picture, and they were getting up and going,” Lieberman said. “They started looking around and began to realize that the shot was going to happen, and some

“Whale” - Photographed in Alaska

of them started getting their equipment out to try to get the image.” It was too late. Despite the thousands of images taken that morning – including those taken of the plane and shuttle’s landing in Florida later that morning – most media publications ran the Associated Press syndication of Lieberman’s shot because it was unique, he told us. “The good [photojournalists] know how to get [the iconic shot], but some of them don’t have the time. They are also under a deadline and very often they have very specific marching orders. They need a picture of Person X talking in front of Sign Y, and that’s it. They have a story that they’re doing that requires that, and that’s their job,” Lieberman said. “Fortunately, for me, it’s not a job. They’ve given me a lot of liberty to sort of go and collect images, such as a glacier knocking down trees. If you know where the glacier is, you go to the place in the forest.” Before his photojournalism career took off in 2003, Lieberman had already found his way into media. On May 9, 1987, he was working at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s medical office and was among several doctors on the tarmac awaiting Air Force One, which was transporting President George H.W. Bush who was going to take a helicopter to the funeral of CIA leader Bill Casey. As they waited, word arrived that a chartered plane bound for New York City had crashed near Warsaw, Poland. Relatives of the victims began arriving at a Kennedy airport terminal with one person experiencing chest pains, Lieberman said. Both events were the top two stories on the major TV networks, and footage

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photography or Lieberman was used in both stories – one awaiting Air Force One, the other of him helping push the stretcher of the chest pain victim to an ambulance – one awaiting Air Force One, the other of him helping push the stretcher of the chest pain victim to an ambulance. “So yeah, my 15 minutes [of fame] have run a few times over,” he joked. And on September 11, 2001, he was at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to catch a flight to Washington, D.C., when the terrorist attacks of that day led federal authorities to

hand while flying the aircraft with his left hand, pinning his elbow against the canopy to steady the 13 shots he took, he said. More than 300 of his images are available for view on his Facebook page. Along with his photos, Lieberman is also an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in East Texas, and he acknowledges that the beneficiaries of wealthy area industries such as energy and medicine have resulted in a substantial wealth of art housed in this region. “So much money flowed through here

“Texas Stadium Implosion”

The Photo,” as he calls it, began Lieberman’s career as an Associated

Press independent contract contributor for the past nine years. He snaps his camera throughout the world on his own time, sometimes flooding the syndicated news market with his images.

“Moon Set” shut down all air travel. An Associated Press reporter searching for quotes from travelers stumbled upon Lieberman, and his statement was replayed in hundreds of newspapers. “I guess we’re at war now. We just need to figure out with who,” Lieberman told the reporter as he awaited a ride back to Tyler. “I think this is worse than Pearl Harbor. It brings a whole new meaning to ‘Day of Infamy.”’ “I never found out who the reporter was,” Lieberman told Piney Woods Live. “She was going around getting quotes of people at DFW. She took my quote, and I thought about it for a few seconds when she asked me what I thought it meant. That quote got widely distributed and used a lot.” Lieberman and his family moved to Tyler from New York in 1993 to join Cardiovascular Associates of East Texas. After several years on West Fifth Street, the firm a couple months ago moved to a larger, more modern facility in the Green Acres Shopping Center on Troup Highway. Among his favorite images, Lieberman said, is of an inverted flight on a P-51 Mustang, a fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other 20th Century conflicts. He shot photos with the camera in his right

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in the 1930s - two billion barrels of oil flowed from the East Texas Oil Field. If you look at Tyler, and Longview, for that matter, you really have communities that are proportionally cultured for their size,” Lieberman said, noting the advent of large shows, acts and celebrities at the Cowan Center and LeTourneau University’s S.E. Belcher Chapel and Performance Center, along with expansion at the Tyler Museum of Art. “Where the money has flowed out of the oil pit, there has been a lot of sponsorship for art. You’ve got very large medical communities in Tyler. They tend to travel and tend to acquire when they travel, so there is an awful lot of art that has been brought back to East Texas. A lot of it is more accessible than in a place like New York. It is hard to get to the theater in New York and a whole lot more expensive. The galleries [in New York] are amazing, but they are also very hard to get to and very crowded. East Texas has a lot better exposure to the arts and artists than in a place like New York City.” Lieberman added, “One of the advantages of a small mid-size city with tremendous assets and the ability to spend some of them on the arts… The bottom line is arts are a luxury, and they are something that communities with excess can afford to do.”

“Rollover”

“FB Landing Day”

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photography The elegant photographs of O. Rufus Lovett by Jan Statman

The works of nationally recognized photographer O. Rufus Lovett have earned so many awards and honors it would be impossible to even try to list them on one page. His images have been included in major museum exhibitions and collections. They have been seen in important publications including Texas Monthly, Photo, Photo Review, Money, and Southern Accents. His work has been selected for the prestigious Annual Governor’s Exhibition in Texas and has received recognition in the 2000 Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards issue of LIFE magazine. He was honored by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of San Antonio, which named him a Piper Professor. Lovett’s photographs are owned by large and small museums. He is a frequently invited guest lecturer and has been included on panel discussions at universities and museums such as the Tyler Museum of Art, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography at Texas State University, as well as Stephen F. Austin State University, Baylor University, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham. When people mention that O. Rufus Lovett is a major force for defining photography as art not only in East Texas but also in the nation, he characteristically denies his own importance. “I don’t know if that’s true,” he says. “ I’m just teaching at the college

“Pauline - 1989”

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and passing the information along.” The truth is that he has inspired a generation of students who have become teachers, exhibiting artists, and published authors. Roy Flukinger, Research Curator of Photography at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin wrote, “I am pleased to report that in addition to collecting O. Rufus Lovett’s own fine work over the years, our center has also recently begun collecting that of several of his former students as well. It is not all that easy to find a teacher who can continually expand learning and encourage talent at the same time; he is such a teacher.” Former student Jacob Botter says, “I have accepted grants from the Dallas Museum of Art, Kodak, and the

Society for Photographic Education, and without hesitation, I can trace this exciting path back to one source: O. Rufus Lovett.” As a photographer, author and dedicated teacher, Lovett believes that each student’s life can become richer because of the visual awareness they discover in his classes. His students develop the kind of understanding of art in which technique is not enough because the art of photography is about issues and points of view, selfexpression and interpretation. He helps them understand how art can have a positive effect on their lives and on the lives of other people. Lovett came to the field of photog-

“Blonde - 1995”

raphy early. He learned the technical side of taking professional quality photographs from his father, Opel R. Lovett, who was campus photographer for Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, for nearly 30 years. The senior Lovett was named one of 10 University Photographers of America. He was also a founding member of the Professional Photographers of Mississippi-Alabama (PPMA) and Cheaha Professional Photographers Society. O. Rufus Lovett jokes that his high school was on the university campus just down the hill from his father’s photo lab. “My high school journalism teachers asked me to do

“Triplets - 2004”

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photography the photographs for the newspaper because they knew I could go down the hill to my father’s lab to get it done, so I did it.” After apprenticing with his father, he continued to study photography at Sam Houston State University where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received his MFA from East Texas State University before joining the faculty at Kilgore College. In 1981, he went to the Ansel Adams workshop in Yosemite, Cal. where he was asked to come back the following year and assist. He remembers, “Adams had several teachers come in and be part of the workshop so that we had the opportunity to learn from all of them.” In 2006, the University of Texas Press published his first major book, Weeping Mary. “I was approached by Gary Borders who was then publisher at the Nacogdoches/ Lufkin newspapers,” he explains. “Gary was doing a series of stories about American Indian mounds in the area, and he mentioned a place called Weeping Mary to me. He suggested I might want to go check it out. The poetic mystery of the name intrigued me, so I went to approach the community.” Local legend says the name came about because an African American woman called Mary wept inconsolably over the loss of her land, which had been stolen by an unscrupulous white man. “I began making photographs, and the Nacogdoches paper published stories like “Christmas at Weeping Mary” and “Children of Weeping Mary.” The body of work continued to grow. Texas Monthly saw the photos and wanted to do a piece on the place. After awhile, the University of Texas asked if I wanted to do the book, which of course I did.” In 2008, the University of Texas Press also published his second major book, The Kilgore Rangerettes: Photographs by O. Rufus Lovett. His photo essay about the world-famous Rangerettes has been described as “unsentimental and occasionally irreverent.” It portrays “the glamour of the Rangerettes’ performances juxtaposed with a small-town atmosphere, football turf, metal bleachers, chain-link

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“Demitrea’s Shoes”

“Bicycle - Weeping Mary”

W hen I first went to school, very few colleges offered degrees in photography,” he says. “Photography is now accepted as an art form more than it ever was before. You see it accepted in art departments, art galleries and art museums. In fact, Texas has some of the largest and most important photographic collections in the world.”

fences, and asphalt and concrete environment.” He says, “Right now my interest is in another book, Barbecue Revelations, which I’m doing with Houston Press food writer Robb Walsh. We did stories together for Gourmet Magazine. Although it will have photos of food, and it will include recipes, Barbecue Revelations will be all about the food, the culture, and the history of barbecue joints from Texas to Arkansas, from Alabama to North and South Carolina and beyond.” Lovett has embraced the changes which have come about since the introduction of digital photography. The major change in his own work is possibly that he is more interested in color work than he was before. He thinks this may be because of the convenience of using digital color, or it may be that as an artist, he simply wants to use color. “Whether digital or film, the challenges remain the same,” he explains. “It may surprise people

to know that a lot of people are still using film and hand processing their photographs. We are still fortunate to have a wet lab at Kilgore College as well as a digital lab, although what was once the major way of processing is now the alternative process.” “When I first went to school, very few colleges offered degrees in photography,” he says. “Photography is now accepted as an art form more than it ever was before. You see it accepted in art departments, art galleries and art museums. In fact, Texas has some of the largest and most important photographic collections in the world. “Everyone knows about the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, but their collection may be equaled by the collection at the Harry Ransom Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. There are fine collections at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Dallas Museum of Art. Even some of the smaller venues like the

Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont have excellent photography collections. Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography takes up the entire seventh floor on the campus of the Texas State University.” Lovett believes that it is always a good time to be involved in photography. From its very beginnings as simple daguerreotypes and onward, photography has always been the art form that accepts change. “We live in an increasingly visual world,” he commented. “The internet has forced us to use photography more and more, and it will continue to develop and evolve.” The famous photographer Michael Kenna once said, “It’s easy to take pictures. It’s just difficult to make a good one.” In describing Lovett’s work, Kenna said, “O. Rufus Lovett photographs with love in his heart. His graphic pictures are elegant and powerfully poignant.”

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Article submissions: Articles are accepted and reviewed by a panel. Photos may accompany articles. Space, relevance, writing and appropriateness play a huge part in the decision making process. Individual artists are more likely to have fewer than 100 words plus a photo published. Deadlines are the 5th of the month prior to publication.

Davilla John E. Petty John E. Petty has been a practicing chiropractor in Longview for the past 37 years. He loves helping his patients with their health needs but equally loves his time out of the office. Photography and adventure travel have long been his passion. His national and international trips as well as the time spent at his farm serve as backdrops for many of his wildlife, landscape and portrait photographs. Petty leans more heavily towards wildlife photography because of his love of the great outdoors. For the past several years, he has gone on annual trips with the Houston Underwater Photographic Society. Later in the year, he plans to travel with an internationally acclaimed full time marine photographer Brandon Cole. They will dive with the most feared of sharks – the Great Whites – near Guadalupe Island in the Pacific.

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You will not likely see him traveling to normal vacation destinations. He says, “I like to get off the gringo trail to interact more with the cultures I visit by perhaps staying in an indigenous hut or in the homes of the families in the remote areas where I visit.” His next trip will be to the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar where he will likely be staying with hillside tribes people instead of in a plush hotel because he believes that interaction with a new culture is far greater when spent in that culture’s homeland. The digital age has allowed him to regularly participate in local and international photo contests. One of his underwater photographs has just been displayed in the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid foyer in Galveston for 2012. Many of his photographs can be viewed on his photo web site: www.pbase.com/hobbymandoc John is married to his high school sweetheart Linda, and they enjoy a family of three children and five grandchildren.

From an early age, art was a basic foundation in Davilla’s home. Growing up in a military family, Davilla was exposed to some of the world’s greatest art as she visited museums, gardens, and architectural structures around the world. Her unique style has been developed from extensive study of color, design, and composition from professional artists’ publications as well as attendance at art workshops presented by nationally known artists such as Paul Jackson, Birgit O’Connor, Frank Webb, Janet Rogers, Guy Magallanes and Joyce Faulknor, In 2012, her work has been selected to hang in the following exhibits, to name a few: Texas Watercolor Society, Southwestern Watercolor Society, Society of Watercolor Artists, the gallery at TAMU and The Artists’ Showplace (Dallas). www.artworksbydavilla.com dharding@embarqmail.com

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artists Elizabeth Waltermire-Wilcox “I grew up in Oklahoma surrounded by big blue skies, dirt roads, and wide expanses of farmlands. Performance art was a big part of my childhood, and I enjoyed success in gymnastics, cheerleading and music. I learned I could draw – really create a piece of art – when I bought an iPad in 2010. It was love at first sight. I felt like I was born to draw, and, come to find out, it was in my DNA. My birth mother is an artist. I became very passionate about creating exacting portraits in a digital medium, and that passion spiked an interest in trying other mediums. I have begun works using elementary techniques (pencil, charcoal and pastels and, most recently, oil painting). My first show was at the Tyler Art Walk in June. I have two pieces currently on display at the Gallery Main Street in Tyler, and I will be showing in Edom on July 14.”

Dolly King “I am a wife of 32 years and a mom to two beautiful girls. We were all born and raised here in East Texas. Like any other mom with kids in school, I began taking pictures of the

kids at school events – simple photos taken with a simple camera. As they grew, so did my interest in photography. Eventually, I borrowed a 35mm camera, bought film, and followed my husband to our cattle gatherings and workings to see what I could do with a slightly more complex camera. My love and interest of the old days gone by, my family, and God’s beautiful creatures inspire the photographs I take. I have upgraded my camera and lenses. I no longer go anywhere without my equipment. I never know where my next “subject” might be! dolly1234@windstream.net

www.flickr.com/photos/stormsmom/ eawilcox@yahoo.com

Joel Nichols “I was third generation in the small central California town of Lodi located 80 miles inland from San Francisco. Following in the footsteps of my two older brothers, I joined the Navy and served three years active duty. Afterwards, I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and took some art courses at Diablo Valley College in Concord, Cal. in order to bring my GPA up. I had been put on scholastic probation before joining the Navy. Sure enough, after trying to flee my roots, I returned to my hometown, attended some classes at San Joaquin Delta College and got a real job at General Mills where I worked for 37 years.

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For 37 years my studio consisted of a lunchroom table, a Ziplock bag with a 4” X 5” piece of illustration board and a single technical pen. I would do pen and ink drawings of whatever caught my attention at the time. I even made notecards that I could not market, so I would give them away as gifts. In 2005, I retired, and my wife Char and I moved to Tyler. Finally, I had a chance to invest a little time in art. Now I have been told that fine arts purists do not see pen and ink as fine art. It is looked upon as commercial art. But what if I do pen and ink work on canvas and paint a flat base coat of a soft neutral hue in an odorless acrylic? Now, I am working in multi-media fine arts. I tried a piece, and it took first place at the East Texas State Fair in multimedia. I had arrived. No more black and white notecards as gifts to relatives. I admire those that have invested years in formal training in this discipline. I am awed by the

technically trained in color and form. I wish that I had time to join, show, learn or teach. I do not, yet I do not let this stop me from watching where my talent will take me. I’m simply going along for the ride. At 68, I am a living example that it is never too late to begin a new adventure. I never want to be known for what I have done. I want to be known for what I am doing. Oh yes, I have been asked why the first name on my signature is ΙΧΘΥΣ. Actually it is Ichthys, an ancient acronym for Jesus Christ. I feel that if He gave me the ability, I would give Him first billing. It works for me. Now, back to my dots. joel-nichols@att.net

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photography One couple’s photographic journey by Gary Borders

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Tammy Cromer comes from a family of entrepreneurs — women and men who owned auto repair garages, cantinas, beauty salons and import companies. So, at 15, she came across a copy of Rolling Stone magazine and decided she wanted to be a photographer. Scott Campbell was raised on Long Island, NY, until the age of 14 when his family moved 1,500 miles southwest to Clarksville in Red River County, where his mother’s family was raised. Scott says the rural school system didn’t know what to do with him since he was a bit more advanced. He spent a lot of time in study halls until the administrators discovered he had developed film and made prints in shop classes in Long Island. Scott quickly became the yearbook photographer. Scott’s grand-uncle was one of the founders of Kilgore College. So, in the early 1980s, he enrolled in that community college’s commercial photography program. It was run, then

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over the years, as it has for many and now, by a fellow named O. Rufus professional photographers, with the Lovett. growing popularity of inexpensive Tammy also decided to attend digital cameras and software. Tammy Kilgore College after graduating from moved into video five years ago and Pine Tree High School. That is where started focusing on corporate phoshe met Scott. Rufus introduced them, tography, producing images for area and eventually they married. companies and charitable events. The Both graduated with commercial Longview Chamber of Commerce photography degrees. Scott’s original named her this year’s Small Business plan was to head to Dallas and become Entrepreneur of the Year. an assistant to an established comFor both Tammy and Scott, commercial photographer. He wanted to mercial photography and video pays learn the craft and what he terms “the the bills. Their passion is fine arts normal workflow” of commercial phophotography. tography. But someone associated with “Rufus instilled a passion in us for Annie’s Attic, then an arts and crafts the West Coast photographers. We publishing company in Big Sandy, started taking workshops from West noticed his work hanging at Kilgore Coast photographers,” Tammy said, College. Scott was offered a job as a including John Sexton and Ruth Bernphotographer with the company which hard. also promised him the opportunity to Later, Tammy became enamored learn more about the craft. with a cheap plastic camera that leaks That was nearly 30 years ago. light and looks like a child’s toy. The The company (www.anniesattic.com) Holga sells for about $30 on Amazon. has changed hands and expanded a com. It uses 120mm film. The results number of times. Scott is now director are unpredictable. The of digital imaging for plastic lens darkens Annie’s Attic. the image around the Photography edges, called vignettis a small ing. segment of One reason his job. The Tammy became selfmajority of his employed was that it work is video allowed her to follow based. In addione of her passions tion, he color — documentary balances the photography. With printing presses the Holga, she the company began documenting uses to print residents in Winona, its magazines, a tiny community which include ll about 30 miles west Creative KnitPhoto by Tammy Cromer-Campbe of Longview, and ting, Card Makthe health effects a er and Crochet toxic waste facility was having on its World. residents. The result was a book pubWhile Tammy’s first job was as lished in 2006 — Fruit of the Orchard: manager and catalog photographer for Environmental Justice in East Texas. Strictly Petites in downtown Kilgore, It featured her photographs and essays both ended up working for competby Phyliss Glazer, who led the fight to ing how-to craft publishing compaclose the plant. nies based in Big Sandy and owned “Since the camera is so low tech, by former spouses — Tammy at the you feel that whatever it gives you is Needlecraft Shop and Scott at Annie’s a gift,” Tammy said. “I love the soft Attic. After eight years, Tammy (now focus. I love the light streaks.” Cromer-Campbell) opened her own Her passion for the Holga resulted photography business, at first in their in her being chosen as one of 10 Holga home and then in her present studio in Inspire photographers nationally, with downtown Longview in 1998 — TCC an exhibit that started in Bangkok and Photo Gallery & Productions (tccphothen came to her gallery in Longview to.com). before heading to New York. Her professional work has evolved

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photography Her next project, about which she that process down like the back of can’t say much yet, is an upcoming your hand… Otherwise, you’ll get commission to document a community consumed in that and won’t be able to similar to Winona. photograph.” For soft-spoken Scott, his fine art Both Tammy and Scott acknowlphotography is a edge that they differ way to “keep me markedly in their in perspective.” He approach to fine shoots traditional art. Scott says, “I landscape photogtry not to purposely raphy, primarily go into a project in East Texas with headstrong. I try a large-format to let projects find camera. His work me.” He cites as an is in the collections example a series of at the Houston Muphotographs taken seum of Fine Arts, in his mother’s the Harry Ransom house after she Center at the Unidied, a powerful versity of Texas and project that came elsewhere. about practically by “Traditional happenstance as he photography keeps took his father back Photo by Scott Campbell me grounded,” he to the family home said. He develops in Clarksville time his sheet film, usuand again. (http:// ally 4x5 inches, then scans in the negawww.easttexasphotographer.com/ tives to make prints using Photoshop. evelyns). When using the software, he only uses Tammy is certainly more project the tools one would use in a traditionoriented, excited about her upcoming al darkroom, which is different than commission. She jokes about, one day, when doing commercial work. switching cameras with Scott, having Recently, he bought an 8x10 inch him shoot with the Holga while she camera on eBay built in the 1930s, uses a a 4x5. Scott jokes that once though he is unsure what he is going Tammy thinks of a project, she gives it to ultimately use the camera to photoa title, “almost buys a box to put the graph. And finding film may eventually photographs in she hasn’t made yet, prove difficult, though it is still being and then works toward that goal.” manufactured, but in smaller quantiLovett (profiled elsewhere in this ties. “It’s not easy being a dinosaur,” issue) is understandably proud of his he jokes. former students. “Scott and Tammy He is clearly fascinated by the camare two of our finest testaments to era, which was built for the Navy. the Kilgore College photography “There is no telling what it has program,” he said. “Our photograseen,” he said. phy agenda addresses issues in both Large format cameras — espeapplied and fine art genres of the cially the 8x10 — force him to be very medium. Scott and Tammy perform methodical. “You have to have that with a passion that has successfully process down in almost a military endured since their graduation in the action,” he said. “You have to have early 1980s.”

Photo of Tammy by Scott Campbell

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Photo of Scott by Tammy Cromer-Campbell

August 2012 - Page 11


art Artist’s World by Jan Statman Artists in America have split up personalities. No, I don’t mean split personalities. I mean split up like one of Picasso’s famous portraits. We always have one foot in the studio and one foot on a banana peel. We are constantly slipping and sliding from our work as artists, which is demanding and unforgiving, to our work as grocery clerks, taxi drivers, teachers, college professors, sales clerks and singing waiters. Civilians – those people who are not involved in the arts – seem to have dreamed up some super glamorous bohemian lifestyle for us. They have strange ideas about who artists are and what we do. They think artists live on champagne and chocolates while sleeping until noon after dancing about in garrets all night. Me? I don’t exactly know what a garret is. Wikipedia says it’s some kind of an attic, and if Wiki says it, you know it has to be true. I promise, I have never danced in one. Maybe in the third floor apartment where I once lived, but that was a long time ago on an island far away. Stage actors probably do sleep until the sun is high. That’s because you can’t act on a full stomach, so actors can’t eat dinner until after the play shuts down. If curtain is at eight, and the play runs two hours, it takes time to climb out of character and take off makeup. You do the math. Musicians? They are quite another story altogether. Nobody knows if or when they ever sleep. Artists cannot afford to burn day-

light. We might be up late working, writing, painting, or practicing. But when morning comes around, we have to punch a time clock just like everybody else. We are obliged to lead two lives. We are artists first. We are always figuring out how to make art out of the things we see, or we are always figuring out how to make music out of the sounds we hear. We are always processing what we see and hear in life’s experiences and developing those things into works of art. However, while we are doing all that seeing, hearing and expressing, the grocery bills are adding up. It has been my experience that rent checks do not grow on trees. Many creative people, particularly younger artists, are obliged to take “pick up� jobs to help keep body and soul together. Willem de Kooning once worked as a house painter in Hoboken, N.J. Van Morrison immortalized his old job as a window cleaner in his song “Cleaning Windows.� Composer John Cage supported himself by washing walls at the Brooklyn YWCA. Actor Lawrence Kletter worked as a New York City doorman. Singer Rod Stewart once worked as a grave digger. Pop artist Larry Rivers occasionally worked as a jazz saxophone player. Composer Philip Glass worked as a plumber and a taxi driver. Franz Kline’s mural at the Cedar Tavern in New York City has become a thing of legend. Andy Warhol worked as a commercial illustrator until he hit the big time. Closer to home, Longview artist Velox Ward Sr. owned a shoe repair shop. As for me, I was a grown up married lady before I realized that sometimes a cab driver is just a cab driver. Not everybody is a concert pianist. Sometimes a gym instructor is

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just a gym instructor. Not everybody is waiting for that big break that will let her dance on the New York stage. Sometimes a waiter is just a waiter. All of them are not necessarily actors. Sometimes the front desk clerk at a hotel is just a desk clerk. Sometimes a longshoreman is just a longshoreman. All longshoremen don’t turn out to be Studs Terkel. Of course, a serious day job means artists spend the majority of their waking hours doing something that is not the thing they love best. Still, all the jobs artists take to support themselves are not always low budget pick up work. Because it is the nature of an artist to be dedicated, many artists bring the same commitment and enthusiasm to their day jobs that they bring to their art. Even though the other work an artist does may start out as nothing more serious than a way to put soup in the bowl, it often becomes a serious second career. In ideal situations, artists are able to find jobs or second careers that complement their art and help them develop creatively. Some believe that being out in the public and doing something totally different makes it possible to bring a deeper understanding and perspective to their art. So, there they stand with two careers. When that happens, the second career turns out to be as demanding as the original career of creating art. Art happens at all hours of the day and night. The second career has inflexible hours. It takes on a life of its own, which requires as much concentrated energy as art. Successful and respected artists have been equally successful and respected in their second careers. Artist John Graham worked in Paris, France, as a buyer of African sculpture for a variety of New York dealers. Composer Charles Ives was a reputable insurance executive. My father, Saul Berliner, who was an artist, was also the Deputy Director of Sydenham Hospital in Har-

lem, which was New York City’s first interracial hospital. We all know that an excellent education for everyone is absolutely essential to the life of a civilization. Because of this, many masters of American art have taken up important second careers as teachers. This denies the nasty old adage that “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.� It simply is not true. Hans Hoffman, Richard Lippold, Robert Motherwell, and a whole host of dazzling and famous artists worked as college art professors. Brilliant younger masters continue to do so. Some work as art teachers in schools. Others teach in after-school programs or adult education programs. Still, others give private art lessons. We no longer have royal princes and wealthy patrons who once subsidized the arts by encouraging artists and supporting them for life. Still, I am always shocked by the people who somehow think artists should not be paid for what we do because we enjoy our work. It is always a surprise to find otherwise smart people who have not figured out that they can actually buy fine art and fill their own homes with beauty. Because of the strange cutoff between artists and their audiences, being an artist means living with financial risk and sacrifice. Managing energy and time and balancing them in proportion with creativity and insight is a constant juggling act. And yes, it definitely is worth it. Although she is best known as an award-winning visual artist whose work is owned by collections across the USA, Jan Statman is author of three published books. She has written columns and features for the Dallas Morning News, the Longview News and the Longview Post.

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music The “B� Side of

Music by Randy Brown YES! May you breathe easy, May your heart be light May you open your life to each joy, each delight May you walk in assurance that your way is blessed May you dwell in the spirit of YES! “YES!� by Barbara McAfee This month’s lyric is written by Barbara McAfee. Barbara lives in Minneapolis, MN, where she is a singer-songwriter, keynoter, author and voice coach. I met her last year when she helped facilitate a songwriting retreat I attended in northern Minnesota. This song has a unique one-word chorus that joyfully repeats “yes� as an affirmation and a mantra. When I first heard the song, I was surrounded by other songwriters. We all raised our voices in unison and enthusiastically sang the chorus. For a guarded and negative person such as myself, the effect was life changing. I would like to share that inspiration with you in this month’s column. Barbara has a fearless spirit and unflappable cheerfulness. Visit her website at http://www.barbaramcafee. com and make sure you check out her video for “Yes.� It features the coolest transparent canoe you have ever, never seen. To tell the truth, if you knew me well, you most likely would call me a pessimist. I think I have always been a pessimist. I don’t think it was a conscious decision I made but rather, I think, it is the way I am wired. I am forever analyzing every possible scenario for points of failure and escape routes. It is so bad that, to an extent, I have spent a large portion of my time watching my life and doing risk assessment instead of living it.

Well, as I told you last month, I am in the process of retiring from my day job and taking on the mantle of a full-time artist. For someone who has always prided himself in making good decisions based on logic and caution, that was a huge leap. In the months to come, I will be writing more about this transition, and I will be the first to admit it isn’t all fun. It is stressful. (Isn’t all change?) But, more importantly, it is exciting and inspiring. The most powerful lesson that I am learning through this process is that I have to leave myself open for failure in order to accept success. I am learning to do that by saying yes. As artists, we have to say no a lot. Art is all about making choices and choosing one path over another. So, for every path we take there is another we have said no to. I have also noticed that through the years my choices tend to be similar. They more often than not avoid the road of uncertainty in favor of safety. However, recognizing that art is seldom about the safe choice, I wanted to start making the more challenging choices. They are the ones that tend to make me a little uncomfortable because, for me, when I finally get myself out there into undiscovered country, that is when the real creation process starts in earnest. Now when I am faced with a decision, I try not to look at the possibility of failure but instead at the possibility of success. That encourages me to say yes to things I would never have had the nerve to do before. An example of that would be self-promotion. Until recently, I have been too afraid of being turned down to ask to do performances that I think might be over my head. I have put that nonsense behind me. I had convinced myself to be afraid of being told

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no. So, consequently, I never asked to do the shows I really wanted to do. I was always waiting because I felt I needed just one more accolade in order to to be considered for a certain performance opportunity. Yes is powerful in much more than self-promotion. It affects how I write this column, how I write songs and how I live in general. By saying yes to paths I would not have taken previously, I have discovered new and wonderful aspects of my art that I did not know existed. An unintended bonus of saying yes is that I believe my attitude about life in general is better. Now, some of that attitude may come from the fact that a little later this year I will hit the 60 year mark and, for many things, it is now or never. But for whatever reason, I have suddenly become open to the possibilities of saying yes. So, say yes to that weird idea you had for a song that you threw out straight away because “it will never work.� Heck, just give it a try because you never know where you might end up. Will you fail? Probably. Will you waste time? Possibly. Will you wind up at dead ends and have to start over? Absolutely. But every once in a while when you say yes to a direction you would have normally dismissed, you will find yourself in a magical place – a wild and wonderful place that you never dreamed existed. Instead of that expected dead end, there appears a new world – terra incognito – that unknown country where everything is fresh and the possibilities are once again

unlimited. Is it worth taking a chance by saying yes to end up there? Or would you rather keep on going, not exactly failing but never really growing as an artist? Ask yourself one simple question: What would a fearless artist do? Then, simply put your fears aside and say yes. Once you start down that road, it gets easier, and who knows what you might find. But you will never know until you say that one little magic word: YES! As always, thanks for reading and if you have comments, suggestions or criticisms about this or any of my columns, feel free to send them to me: randy@brownrandy.com. If you are ever simply get curious about what the heck this rambling old man does, then go to www.brownrandy.com/music. Listen to a few songs and let me know what you think. See you next issue. Randy Brown is a small business owner and singer/songwriter living in East Texas and has been involved with many sides of the music business over the years, from being a sideman, a sound man, touring songwriter, venue operator, and a recording studio owner/engineer. He has told himself no for so long, learning to say yes is not very easy.

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photography Betty Northcutt shares her unique vision by Jan Statman

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Betty Northcutt’s million dollar smile can light up a room. That captivating smile reflects the twinkle in her artist’s eye. Whether that eye is drawn to the serenity of a quiet country road or the glimmer of a sunlit pond, she always trusts it to create a vision she can share with other people. She is careful to concern herself with lights and darks, textures, color, shadows and the shapes of the natural world. She also knows it is an artist’s responsibility to explain these things creatively through the use of an artistic medium. She says, “A photograph is not just a casual snapshot picture. For a photograph to become a work of art, it must have the sense of beauty in proportion that can be found in any other work of art, whether it is a painting or a sculpture.� Betty has always been aware that she sees things a little differently. When many people look at a scene or a flower or a doorway that opens up to reveal beauty, they will think to themselves: Isn’t that pretty? Isn’t that interesting? Betty Northcutt’s thought will be: Isn’t that beautiful? I wish I could preserve that image forever and put it into a frame and hang it on the wall so I can share the way I feel about it with other people. She says, “I have been observing light and beauty for many years, and in photography, I have found a way to translate my cherished observations into more concrete, personal visions using my camera.� While her vision is sharp and demanding, she still finds that there are times in her everyday life when she is so busy with the demands of day-today living that she is almost tempted to forget about the lovely things of this

world. That is when she pauses to photograph a reflection in water or a glorious sunset. The image she captures in the camera’s lens clears her mind so that she can absorb the scene. She says, “I can only hope that the peace and serenity I find while capturing these images will extend to others.� The first revelation of her vision, which brightens her life through her art, came to her one quiet morning while she was visiting relatives at Lake Jackson. With her coffee cup in her hand, she stepped outside the door

to see the silent sunrise fog roll in across the lake. She was struck by the beauty of the scene and, as usual, she wished she could preserve it forever. She put the coffee cup down, grabbed her camera and snapped two of her favorite photographs. They resulted in the images she calls “Autumn Fog� and “Willow’s Dream.� She describes her work by saying, “In my photographic art, you will find an underlying theme of stillness - a quiet serenity sprinkled with a hint of nostalgia. I find a spiritual joy in capturing

the colors of nature’s palette, its hues blended by natural light.� She shares the interest of many photographers and painters who like to work with a series of subjects. She keeps the topic of each series open, visiting and revisiting it with new thoughts and fresh ideas every time she makes a photograph. Some of her favorite subjects are flowers. It is her belief that flowers are pure, that even though their beauty is genuine and substantial, the life of flowers is fleeting. Because they are so temporary, their beauty becomes extra precious. More than that, their bright colors and cheerful shapes combine to make people happy. “A bouquet of flowers will always make you smile,� she said. “I always delight in the creation of a still life that can evoke emotion.� Her subjects are not always as fleeting or as fragile as the life of flowers. She is fascinated by the form and construction of old buildings. Sometimes she finds that buildings that are falling down are the most fascinating, and she wonders about the stories they could tell if only they could speak. What could they tell us about the lives they influenced and about the people who once surrounded them? “When I photograph an abandoned building, I revel in an imagined history and marvel at the bare essentials of its structure,� she says. She has done a continuing series of photographs of antique automobiles. While brand new automobiles are beautiful, it is antique cars that bring viewers a sense of nostalgia. They strike a chord of memory which takes people back to an earlier, and possibly a happier, time. She admits to the challenge of trying to photo-

“Flower Power�

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photography graph vintage classics. She explains that owners who have restored classic automobiles take pride in keeping them sparkling and shiny. This makes it difficult to arrange all the reflections in order to keep from accidentally getting a photograph of the photographer photographing the photograph. For this reason, she often shares the joy she finds photographing carefully restored classic cars by also photographing old cars that have never been restored. These images of what she likes to call “rust buckets” work well. Each of them has a personality of its own. One of her favorites in her “Rust Bucket Series “is titled “42 Ford Vintage.” Although she has completed a series of abstract works, she insists that she is not much of an abstract person. She considers herself to be more of a realist photographer. But she says, “I just can’t seem to quit experimenting! My latest works, which you will find in my new gallery titled “Abstract Distraction,” have been exactly that... distracting. I photographed a swirling mud puddle and was in awe of the swirls. After I uploaded them to my computer, I played with the color

subjects are at home or along the few roads that lead beyond. “Photography is mine,” she said. “My art allows me to concentrate and focus my energies and eventually to share what I see with everyone.” www.bettynorthcutt.imagekind.com

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of the swirls until it all just got out of hand. Somehow, I was enjoying the abstract results! Then, I started playing with the color on a photograph of a piece of petrified wood. Next thing I know, I have spent most of the week making abstract photographs. She is careful to say that owning a camera doesn’t make a picture taker a photographer any more than owning an easel makes a person an artist. Still, she admits she is grateful for the digital explosion in pho-

tography which has turned the lights on in most of the darkened rooms. Digital imagery takes the photographer out of the darkroom and avoids the need for sophisticated darkroom techniques. It frees the photographer to spend time taking photographs. Her biggest acceptance of advanced technology involved upgrading from a simple digital camera to a Canon T2i. Betty Northcutt lives in a rural community outside of Beckville. From her home base, she finds both everyday and remarkable subjects whether those

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Bark for Love by Fallon Burns

A

t Piney Woods Live magazine, most of us have beloved rescue animals in our lives. Several members of our staff started to notice some amazing photographs of pets up for adoption on Facebook and posted by pet photographers Cristina and Christopher Lozao, owners of REC Photography Studio. Their Facebook page is appropriately named Bark for Love. After following their work for several weeks, we were pleased to see how many of the pets were actually being adopted and excitedly watched as the number er of their Facebook fans grew. Piney Woods Live’s sales manager Suzanne Warren says, “Cristina has the ability to capture the manag personality of a dog in a single moment. She catches the

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glimmer in their eyes or the way their tongue hangs in a certain way. She sees it; she knows it; and she grabs it.” Cristina and Christopher Lozao, in their spare time, foster pets available for adoption. After Christopher started a full-time job, Cristina started volunteering at the Humane Society of Northeast Texas. She quickly noticed how many animals were being adopted versus how many animals were being euthanized. According to the National Council on Pet Population, of the 1,000 shelters that replied to the National Council’s survey, 4.3 million animals were handled. An astounding 64% of the total number of animals that entered shelters were euthanized. Considering that only 1000 shelters participated in that survey, one can only imagine how staggering the total numbers are. After seeing firsthand how difficult pet adoption can be, Cristina decided it was time to take action and help out her furry friends. Cristina stumbled upon the inspiration for Bark for Love from a photographer in Houston who

photographed rescue animals to promote adoption. Because of her p photography g p y background, immediategr round, she immed diatebrilliance ly ssaw aw the brillianc ce of According thee concept. Accord ding Cristina, to C ristina, “Peoplee with willl look at a dog w ith bow neck a bo ow around its ne eck before look befo oree theyy will loo ok at a sad animal in a cage.” Cristina actually picked up photography from her husband. “I didn’t really like photography until I got into animals. I think I relate to animals more than I do to people,” she says with a burst of warm laughter. “I have been called the dog whisperer on several occasions.”

Cristina with Deisel, Little Man, Jules Her talent for relating to animals is clear from the pets’ comfortable expressions in her photos. Cristina has a remarkable eye for finding creative ways to accessorize the dogs. A simple string of pearls can entirely capture their personality. She is able to take animals that society has given up on and show their personality with bold backgrounds, glittering jewelry and, let’s not forget, lots and lots of tutus. The photos make you think about how much that Australian shepherd is going to make you laugh or how that chocolate lab could be your best friend.

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Photography by Cristina Cristina has a way of making the animals unforgettable. So much so that just two months after she started the Bark for Love program the Humane Society of Northeast Texas surpassed their standard adoption rate by 200 adoptions. Every dog that has appeared on the Bark for Love Facebook page has been successfully adopted. Cristina and her husband both volunteer their time, talent and funds to make Bark for Love possible. At Piney Woods Live, we have fallen in love with Bark for Love and their cause and would like to help. In the months to come, we will be featuring four Bark for Love rescue animals available for adoption. If you have not already done so, please take the time to like the Bark for Love Facebook page and, by all means, feel free to share the photos or adopt an animal!

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art The art of the skateboard by Louis Statman - 2011 ISSA Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Champion

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You see the signs in every town. They say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;No Skateboarding,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;No Skateboarding Allowed.â&#x20AC;? No. No. No. Not here; not there; not anywhere. Not now; not ever. And still, you see the skateboarders riding down streets and rolling through culverts. In answer to the need, cities, churches and businesses have invested in skate parks. The Noble E. Young Municipal Skateboard Park in Tyler was one of the first skateboarding parks in Texas. Now there are hundreds, from Brownsville to the Panhandle, from El Paso to Texarkana. The city of Arlington recently unveiled a citywide skateboard plan. The First Baptist Church of Longview has its own skate park. Skateboarding was once thought of as an outlaw sport, and now it has gone mainstream. Skaters range in age from the youngest preteens to grey-haired grandpas in their sixties. As skateboarders have matured, so has the art and the culture of skateboarding. The idea for the first boards came from surfboards. They were little more than seriously scaled-down rough-cut surfboards on wheels. The first boards were homemade sliced-off chunks of 2x4â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with roller skate wheels attached to the bottoms. They evolved into skateboards that were simple wooden boards with steel or clay wheels. The closest thing to skateboard art was the type of wood or early surfboard inspired shapes. When commercial boards began to arrive on the scene, graphics were simple logos of the sort you might have seen on your little red wagon made by Radio Flyer. But in the early 60s, skateboard manufacturers began experimenting with new materials. Fiberglass, plastic and even aluminum boards appeared in bright new colors, but dedicated skaters kept working with wood, adding the kick tail (the bentupwards end of a skateboard) designed by Larry Stevenson to current maple creations. By the 1970s, the creativity of these â&#x20AC;&#x153;outcast athletesâ&#x20AC;? started to take shape. It was at this time that the seeds of the American Spirit of Innovation began to take root and grow into the multi-billion dollar skateboard industry. With an eye toward innovation and the independent spirit of the sport, the skaters took the reins. Skaters like Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta and Jeff Wooten added their personal flair to the boards. These unique, innovative artists realized the boards needed to be bright, clear and complex in order to be seen as the riders flashed by. Manufacturers took notice. By the mid 70s, Wess Humpston was designing for the skateboard company Dogtown based in Venice, CA. He was one of the original Z-Boys who skated for the Zephyr Skate Shop team. At first he produced hand-drawn and hand-painted designs that were influenced by the Venice Beach street culture. His designs included crosses, wings, bats and other dramatic images. His boards are still sought after today.

Another designer of the 70s was Tony Alva, whose graphics resembled rebel street art or were tags that simply said Alva. Skateboarding in the 80s was at a high point. Some of the more iconic companies began to take shape. Three major companies ruled the scene. These were PowellPeralta, Sims Vision, and Santa Cruz. There was a certain clean quality to the artwork of Vernon Courtland Johnson, who was known as VCJ. He designed for Powell-Peralta. His designs took earlier swords and skull images and made them more mainstream and acceptable. Sims Vision was known more for logos and pop art by artists like Mark Gonzales, John Grigley and others. Santa Cruz Skateboards used the talents of Jim Phillips with contributions by Robert Williams. While they still designed for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;outlaw athletesâ&#x20AC;? of the skateboard market, their graphics took a wilder approach. They used darker images including monsters, melting backgrounds and graffiti art. Although their designs were less â&#x20AC;&#x153;mom friendly,â&#x20AC;? and more â&#x20AC;&#x153;skater friendly,â&#x20AC;? they were still tame compared to what came next. One important company that survived from the 70s into the 80s was Gordon & Smith, whose best-known skater/artists were Neil Blender and Chris Miller. Neil Blenderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s innovative style was seen both in his artwork and his skating. He was always creating new ways of doing tricks and new ways of designing his boards.

Zorlac Skateboards of Texas started out in Dallas during the late 70s. Jeff Newton featured skaters like John Gibson, Craig Johnson and the artwork of Brian Schroder, also known as Pushead. His graphic designs were definitely not mainstream. They were extremely hard edge, and some people even thought they were visually demonic. This really was not true. They simply reflected the sort of things teenage boys like to draw. While the skulls and skeletons of Powell-Peralta had a happy image, these were exactly the opposite. They spoke to the rebel attitude that was popular in the skateboard culture. Bands like Metallica, the Misfits and even the Rolling Stones had skateboards released under the Zorlac name. Designs changed as the 80s blended into the 90s. Economic conditions caused the sport to move back to the streets. The big three companies fell. Boards were designed by individual skater/artists. The trend was toward copying images without permission. Cartoon characters and company logos were compromised. Everything and anything was ripped off until the â&#x20AC;&#x153;cease and desistâ&#x20AC;? order arrived! Steve Rocco of World Industries became famous for his misappropriated images. With the rise of the new century, computer graphics and clip art have become so easily available that the amount of original artwork seems almost limitless. Artists like Kris Markovich and Ed Templeton keep the feelings of originality and the unique spirit of the culture alive. One of the newest trends is the desire for retro designs. Skateboarding is no longer a sport that is limited to preteens and teens. As older and more affluent skaters make their way back to skate shops, they want to buy the boards their moms would never let them have. Some of the old, original boards now sell for thousands of dollars if and when they become available. Skateboarding is an ever-evolving sport. Trends come and trends go, and nobody can tell what the hot new designs will be. Take a look at the margins of some teenagerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notebooks, and you might just find some clues to the future of this truly American art form.

Louis Statman was named Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Champion Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Slalom Skater for 2011 by the International Skateboard Slalom Association.

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writing Beyond Mere Thoughts by Karen Dean Illustrating children’s books with photo references Illustrating a children’s book can feel like a monumental and daunting task. There is much to consider in the process. For instance, what is the most appropriate look and feel for this particular book? Should it be soft and light or bright, or should it be vivid and bold? Would animated, personified characters illustrate the story best or human figures? If your characters are actual people, your range could be anywhere from cartooning to super serious realism. Looking through numerous children’s books at the library and bookstore can reveal an educational treasure chest of possibilities from colors to style to atmosphere. Browsing through new books will help keep your ideas fresh. Then there is the question of what media you should use (oil, watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, or computer). Once that is decided, you need to choose from surface options (canvas, paper, or board). Except for one book cover I painted for another author’s romance novel, I use oil paint strictly for fine art. When I first started illustrating books, watercolor on paper seemed the best

way to go, but frustration set in because some illustrations were just too soft and light. Using a combination of watercolor, watercolor pencils, Inktense pencils, and occasionally masking fluid allows me to achieve vibrant, exciting book illustrations. After much experimentation and stacks of illustrations, I’m quite pleased with the results. With all that said, you still need to begin with pencil sketches in order to have something to paint. Absorbing the story by reading it numerous times is a must. Understanding the author’s vision for the feel of the book and the characters is important. Since I write the story as well as illustrate, I already understand how it should feel to be inside the pages of my book. Unless I’m creating a personified character, and even sometimes for them as well, the use of photography can be invaluable. Having models by using family members and friends act out the story, even in costume if possible, provides interesting movement, gestures, and facial expressions to capture and use. Even if some of the photos do not work for a

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book in progress, file them for future work. In addition to the photos I take, when starting each book, I’ll sort through drawers full of magazine pictures collected over many years. You’ll be amazed at how they can become inspiration triggers for hand movement, body poses, hair, clothing, and settings. Start collecting your own stack. It will be well worth the effort. It is always exciting to complete a book and see the results come together in print. My newest book The Great AmTryke Rodeo is being printed and shipped this week. Published by National AMBUCS, this heart-warming story in rhyme depicts the excitement of specialneeds children being matched up with AmTrykes (special-made tricycles). AMBUCS club members assist in the process of making mobility possible.

Come see me at Gladewater Art Stroll, Saturday, August 11, noon - 5 p.m. In addition to being a published author and illustrator of children’s books, Karen Dean is also an accomplished artist in oil and watercolor painting architectural landscapes, seascapes, still life, and Classical Realism portraits. Visit her website to view the gallery. www.KarenDeanArtist.com karendean@karendeanartist.com

Stop by next month for a few more writing or painting tips.

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Holding a cell phone at arm’s length and pressing the trackball doesn’t make me a photographer. But like most of us, I’ve tried. With the advent of Photoshop and cell phone apps, we can all take a stab at creating a work of photographic art. But compare a photograph taken by a professional artist, and there will be magic as a composition emerges to capture your eye and pull you in to evoke a memory, emotion, or gut reaction. That’s what separates the amateur from the committed artist. Change the angle, change the perspective, and everything changes. East Texas has abundant photographic talent. John Kay, Tammy Pruitt, and Jamin Bickel look through the camera’s lens from different angles. While traveling with Tammy to New Mexico, I observed her skill with a camera and then compared our shots at day’s end. It was obvious who was better, and it wasn’t me. She sees with spiritual

Photo by Tammy Pruitt

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August 2012 - Page 20

yes and challenges me to tap into that resource. While teaching art in the Marshall public schools, I had both of John Kay’s sons as students. At parent night, we ended up discussing photography and art. When John exhibited in the Short Exposure exhibit at the Longview Museum of Fine Art, I took the opportunity to see his work up close. His photographs from a recent trip to Beijing, China, reveal his love for people. At the exhibition, I also met one of the winners, Jamin Bickel, a gifted photographer with intelligence and a wry wit. Presented in true interview fashion, each photographer answered five questions central to photography. Here, you will find that it’s all about the photographer’s personal view and angle.

Set the scene for me regarding your favorite photography opportunities. John Kay: I have a relative who is a photographer for the Dallas Morning News. While I was in high school, he was able to help me acquire press photography credentials for the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Texas Rangers games. I became hooked on action photography. After high school, I decided to continue by studying at The Art Institute of Dallas. I would often find myself walking around downtown Dallas taking shots of architecture and people. While at the art institute, my mom always encouraged me to photograph my feelings. So, I started shooting more of people’s everyday lives. Tammy Pruitt: My favorite photography opportunities are the ones that tell a story in one image. It doesn’t matter if the subject of a photograph is a little boy in Uganda that has seen so much horror that his smile never reaches his eyes or hummingbirds flying in an epic battle for sugar water. The photo tells the story. Jamin Bickel: For some reason, I enjoy difficult to photograph scenes: nightscapes which involve a four hour exposure so the stars train in circles; light paintings with various colored lights to change the mood; infrared landscapes in which it is difficult to compose, meter or even focus. It’s interesting to me that I don’t really thrive on the challenge or the difficulty because, once I get it figured out, my workflow is pretty easy. I’ll set up, shoot a bit, guess a bit, not care too much about the minor details that get in the way (or break) and rely on a bit of kismet. It’s not, “Oh, my $10,000 camera can do this and yours can’t, ha ha!”… I hope. Why do you care so much about photography? John: My passion has always been photojournalism. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed documenting through my camera what is going on around me. I love capturing people’s feelings, their emotions, and their lives.

Photo by John Kay

story I am witnessing without being verbal. Our society puts much value in words (rightly so), but only 7% of communication comes from them. I guess it is important for me to tell you my story without you ever hearing my voice. Jamin: Dollars, dollars, dollars. Obviously, we’re all in it for the money. What was the catalyst and/or turning point for you? John: I believe the turning point where I felt the most inspiration in my photography was five years ago when I had the opportunity to shoot a documentary in China for a non-profit organization called Portion for Orphans. While in Bei Wu, Beijing, China, I stayed in an orphanage. From the time I got up until I laid my head down at night, I had my camera in hand. I even fell asleep one night while editing pictures on my laptop. While at the orphanage, I’d take walks down to the little square in Bei Wu. In the morning, everyone would come to shop, play, or just talk politics. That’s where I was able to get some wonderful shots. Tammy: After high school, I became friends with a person who loved to take pictures. She photographed everything. Once we were sitting on a hillside in Germany and I said, “I wish I had a camera.” She said, “Take a picture with your heart.” I have been taking pictures ever since. It’s a bit easier to pull up the ones you take with a camera. Jamin: There never was one. I was born into a world of photography and videotaping. My grandfather became a photographer in 1942 during college and my father in 1976. We shot weddings, local events and commercials for small outfits. There’s a story where I was either 9 or 11 and stationed with a video camera in the baptismal tub in a church for a wedding. All I had to do was track the bride to the altar and follow her back out at the end.

Tammy: For me, photography is the art of telling a story. It’s like a poet without words. It is an attempt for me to tell the

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photography

Photo by Tammy Pruitt

How would you describe the art of photography today? John: A lot of people will ask me about what I think about photography today with all the digital cameras and editing tools available. I believe that digital media is wonderful in terms of savings. Before, I would take 15-20 rolls of film for 10-15 useful shots. When I was in China, for example, I took over 3500 pictures, 150 of them, I believe, were worth the trip. As far as the digital programs available, I do not really use them other than cropping and changing color to black and white. I also believe that is what makes a great photographer. You should not have to use Photoshop to make a photograph great. It is very important for someone to look at my photographs and have a feeling come over them, whether happy or sad. Tammy: In an age of digital ease, it is easy to lose the story of the art of photography. One way for me to remind myself of the journey is to try to photograph the way it used to be done. One attempt is by building pinhole cameras and teaching people how to build them. The journey of light making an image is so amazing. It is its own story. For me, it is important to try to continue to use different films, although film development can have its own challenges. Sometimes I use Polaroid instant film for a straight out instant image, sometimes for emulsion lifts, and sometimes for film transfers. Other times, I will shoot with 35mm and manipulate the negative or the print. Shooting black and white film with a medium format camera is still very fun and a great challenge. Jamin: This is a tough one because that’s like saying, “What do you think about food today?” I would go so far as to say that photography now rivals traditional media in terms of scope and breadth. There are styles, processes, regions, nationalities, and gender delineations et

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cetera, ad nauseam, perhaps greater because we have photojournalism with its rigorous rules and standards which has removed itself from any association with artistic qualities at all. But let’s not talk about that. Here’s a kicker for the art world: found photography. If you took a picture of a rusty door and printed and sold it, is it art? I can walk over and look at the door myself. How have you adjusted or represented the world? Did you frame it and compose it using your artistic eye? What’s the difference between that and me looking at it and squinting? Did you Photoshop it so it is green? Is it still art? When Ansel Adams hiked into the mountains on a burro and using glass plates, took pictures of amazing vistas, is it art or is it photojournalism? Theoretically, anybody could have hiked for days at a time in horrible weather with heavy, heavy equipment and waited until the clouds were right and got the same result. Right? When I take a portrait and tell somebody to suck in their gut (politely, of course), is it art or documentation? The same thing when I take a landscape picture of your backyard and the only difference is that I remove all the pesky wavelengths of light that I don’t want… why bother? I could get some green crayons! This is a gigantic can of worms. It is a world of widely differing opinions, all of them wrong, of course, except mine.

in time where the veil is lifted, and I see. However, it is so much more than just seeing. All of my senses are involved and the moment is often experiential — a knowing. Jamin: “Hey, you, get off of my cloud!” or “Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.” I actually keep a Word document of neato quotes to print out and hand to people when I’m teaching photography classes. Three pairs of eyes are looking through different lenses for an angle that best expresses that moment in time where the ordinary transforms into extraordinary. They reflect upon inspiration, experience and knowledge with seriousness and good humor because in photography, as in life, it’s all about your perspective. To view and experience the work of these photographers, you may visit them at the following:

Photo by Jamin Bickel

John Kay www.johnkay.photoreflect.com Tammy Pruitt www.adiyacreationsinc.com Jamin Bickel www.jaminbickel.com

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Would you give me a quote encapsulating your feeling/perspective on photography? John: The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I try to depict that saying in all of my photographs. I want people to look at one of my shots and feel what the person I’m photographing is feeling or the emotion the subject suggests. Tammy: Photographic art, for me, erases the imaginary line between the mundane and the sacred. It is a moment

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music Local musician Terry Salyer has big name ties by Jim King There is an old saying that goes something like, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” It’s a wonderful thought. But for millions of people who get up every day and head out to work, it is just a dream. There are others, like Terry Salyer, who have made that dream into a reality, and he will proudly tell you that he has never had a job in his life. Terry is a Texas son, born and raised. Originally from an area near Corpus Christi, Terry Salyer moved to East Texas with his family when he was 3 years old. Except for his time on the road playing music, Terry has lived in Texas all of his life. His love of music started early when he watched his older brother playing the trumpet and marching in the school band. “I remember how cool I thought that was,” he says. Terry was in the second grade, and like most children that age, his thoughts would occasionally drift toward growing up and getting a job. “I remember that I wanted to be an astrologer or a scientist. At least I thought I did.” With instant recall, Terry can tell you the exact moment he knew that music would become his life, his livelihood and his dream. It was February 9, 1964. As he sat in front of the family television set (back in the days when a house had one television), a young Terry Salyer watched Ed Sullivan introduce a new band that had arrived in the United States from England. That band was The Beatles. Suddenly, a young boy halfway through the fourth grade knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I started playing trumpet in the school band like my brother,” says

Terry. “But I remembered watching those guys on television.” He also began playing the guitar and the bass. When I asked if there was a reason he started with a guitar, Terry simply smiled and said, “It was easier to borrow a guitar.” By the time this young musician was in the eighth grade, he was already a member of a band called The Midnight Sun. Together, they performed many of the songs popular at that time, such as “G.L.O.R.I.A.” made famous by The Shadows of Knight and “Louie Louie,” a hugely popular tune by The Kingsmen. “We played a lot of little gigs around the area and even a few larger ones at some of the clubs,” says Terry. By the time he was 15, Terry was playing trumpet in his second band, Chamber of Soul, from Henderson, Texas. It was a big 9-piece band, and they performed after football games at the American Legion Hall in Henderson. “For kids, we made pretty decent money, and we were having fun.” Terry graduated from high school in 1972. By that time, he was considered by his peers to be proficient on several instruments including the trumpet, guitar, bass, drums and piano. In December of 1973, he was approached by the Arlington, Texas, band, First State Bank. By January 4, less than a month later, he was on stage performing in front of 4,000 students. He was “hooked” and stayed with FSB for about three years. Terry was involved in all aspects of music even when he wasn’t on stage performing. He enrolled in Kilgore College where he learned the fundamentals of music theory. He went on to graduate with a music degree. Dur-

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ing this time, Terry began teaching. As a young musician, Terry spent his spare time at music stores. One in particular was Mike Black’s North Town Music. One day, at the age of 19, he was testing a new guitar. Another young musician, a 14-yearold boy named Ricky, walked over to him and said, “Sir, would you mind showing me that riff?” That single sentence was the beginning of both a teaching career, which he started at Mike Black’s in 1977, and a lifelong friendship with a young local talent who would later be known as Ricky Lynn Gregg. In 1979, Terry started teaching at Mundt Music and has been giving music instruction there since then. He says, “I like to teach and enjoy working with my students. It’s kind of a family thing.” During all this time, Terry continued to play and perform and still does to this day. He says, “I have played on a semi-regular basis with about 20 or 30 bands through the years.” He is quite proud of his three

year run with First State Bank. Other long term band relationships include about five years with Fat Tuesday, and from 1977-1983 he played with Lee Pickens (formerly of Bloodrock) and now performing as Easter Island. At 57 years of age, Terry Salyer can proudly say that he has been a working and successful musician his entire life. “That’s what I set out to do, and that’s what I did.” And he has a long list of accomplishments to prove it. With one solo CD to his credit, Terry has worked on numerous albums both for custom and independent labels as well as radio, television commercials and soundtracks. “Back in the 80s, if you were watching a Sunday fishing or hot rod show, then you were probably listening to me playing.” Some of his most memorable moments include touring with his band and opening for Iron Butterfly in 1974. After the show, it was discovered that there were some special guests in the VIP booth: the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart’s band, Faces. “It was a big

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music event in a huge indoor venue. I was only 19 at the time and didn’t know they were there during the show,” Terry says. “It’s a good thing, because I might have been nervous.” He has toured extensively throughout the Midwest and Canada and performed as a drummer in Europe while touring with Ricky Lynn Gregg in 1995-96. Their friendship has remained strong over the years. Terry describes his friend as “real loyal, a good friend.” Terry and his wife Lisa have six children. “With all of the kids and grandkids together, I could put together an orchestra,” he says jokingly. Though he misses his wife and family when on the road touring, Terry says, “I feel very, very fortunate to be able to still be playing and teaching.” In July 2011, Terry became a member of the Alan Fox Band playing drums. While they used to play a lot of bars and clubs, AFB is now playing to much larger audiences at fairs, festivals and larger venues. They are in the process of recording their second album and currently have a new single titled “Do Me” on iTunes and available now. For concert information, contact them at www.alanfoxband.com, I can promise you a great show. There is a LOT of talent in that group!

Photo collage by Jim King.

Victoria Wyeth is the great-grandchild of N.C., the only grandchild of Andrew and the niece of Jamie Wyeth. As a family member, Ms. Wyeth will offer guests an intimate look into the lives and works of these three artists. She will guide private tours through the exhibition on September 7 through September 9. Ms. Wyeth will also give a public lecture on Wyeth art September 8. An exhibition catalog signing will follow.

James Browning Wyeth (b.1946). The Monhegan Post Office, 1976. Watercolor on paper, 21 1/2 x 29 inches. Chip Hosek, Pearland, TX.

ON VIEW SEPTEMBER 7 THROUGH DECEMBER 9, 2012 Works by N.C., Andrew & Jamie Wyeth from public & private collections across Texas America’s Most Famous Family of 20th Century Artists This exhibition was organized by the Tyler Museum of Art

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For tickets, contact the Tyler Museum of Art by calling 903-595-1001 or visiting tylermuseum. org. Check the website for updated special events!

Tyler Museum of Art 1300 S. Mahon Ave., Tyler, Texas • 903-595-1001 • www.tylermuseum.org

August 2012 - Page 25


Gladewater â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Antique & Art Capitol of East Texas 39th Annual

ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL The largest outdoor arts & crafts event in East Texas!

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news Gladewater’s Main Street Art Stroll slated for Saturday, August 11 The Gladewater Main Street Art Stroll will “step out” on Saturday, August 11, in the historic Antique District where there is plenty of free parking and easy access. It will be a shopper’s delight for beautiful works of art and ageless antiques. Gladewater’s Main Street Manager and Board of Directors are proud hosts of the Second Annual Art Stroll. The “Stroll” will get underway at noon and run through 5 p.m. with demonstrations, live entertainment, and 35 artists set up inside shops and businesses throughout downtown Gladewater. The artists and photographers represent some of the best talent in the East Texas area working in a variety of mediums and subject matter. Whether you’re the avid collector or

just beginning to collect, there will be something for everyone. 9-year-old artist Abby Grace Townsend is selling her paintings to raise funds for her young cousin diagnosed with leukemia one year ago. You can visit Abby at the Gladewater Antique Mall during the Art Stroll. www.facebook.com/CastaliasCause or email her at: castaliascause@gmail.com An addition to this year’s events will be the Wine Garden to be located in the beautiful courtyard adjacent to Decorate Ornate at 202 South Main. Local vineyards have been invited to showcase their wines. This should prove to be very popular. After the Art Stroll wraps up, you

Scenes from last year’s Art Stroll:

might consider an evening of entertainment at The Whisenhunt Center, 201 East Quitman, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Formerly the Church of Christ, this historic building has been turned into a state-of-the-art entertainment facility and art gallery housing both local and international artists. Shake Rattle and Roll will be the featured entertainment for the evening with Dale Cummings opening for the group. The mission for the Art Stroll is to celebrate the importance of art in our lives and present it in a casual format for your enjoyment. For more information: www.facebook.com/artstroll 903.360.8841 gladewaterartstroll@gmail.com

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August 2012 - Page 27


acting Just an extra day at the office by Tony McCullough Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s August 2009. 8:15 p.m. I look down and see the gold flash of the LAPD badge on my chest. My now empty .45 is firmly locked in my holster. Standing in the smoke and shadows of the ruins of an old brick building located somewhere in South Los Angeles, my blue polyester police uniform is covered with dust from head to toe. A stream of blood has run from my ear to my neck and dried there like a battle scar. I hear the blast, then the scream. I know the creature is about to turn the corner to face me. What do I do? My heart is pounding; it is time to act. This is the moment I have been waiting for. I leap from my L.A. patrol car to flee. I decide to run for the shelter of a half burnt Dodge Charger on the other side of the street. As I take my second step, I hearâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;CUT! Back to one. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing

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it again.â&#x20AC;? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not in L.A. at all, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m definitely not a cop. I am an extra on the movie set of Battle: Los Angeles filming in downtown Shreveport. It is my third job in the film industry as an extra or â&#x20AC;&#x153;background actor.â&#x20AC;? I woke up in Longview at 4 a.m. this morning, showered, and was at base camp at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium by 5:15 a.m. After over an hour of wardrobe, hair, and makeup, I was shuttled to the set. With the exception of about a 30 minute break for a catered lunch, I have been sitting in a holding area reading a book since 8 a.m. this morning. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m an extra, so I have no trailer or dressing room, just a plastic folding chair. I am not allowed to be too close to the scene until I am called. It hit 98 degrees about 5 p.m. this afternoon turning my cop uniform into a sweatsuit. The makeup and dust ran down my face only to be replaced by a not so happy makeup artist. I am tired of sitting. I am hot. I am miserably bored. But after 14 hours of waiting, they are finally ready for me. I am in front of the camera for about five seconds. I sure hope â&#x20AC;&#x153;my sceneâ&#x20AC;? makes it through editing to the movie screen. When I get home, all of my friends are going to want to know every detail. They jokingly call me â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hollywood,â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Movie Star.â&#x20AC;? I think about the day and laugh quietly to myself. They imagine me hanging out and chatting with famous actors, being served lattes and martinis, and resting between filming in an air conditioned trailer. They have no idea what this day has been like. Since the early 1900s, one of the favorite fantasies of almost every young American is to grow up and be in the movies. As many of us grew older, took jobs, married, and raised children, that dream became about as probable as growing our hair, grabbing a guitar and becoming a rockstar. But there is a group of people who refuse to give up that dream. They arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t famous, they work extremely long hours, they get no recognition except from friends and family, and they get paid very little. But they are there, part of every movie and television show. Just look over the shoulder of the lead actor in any movie. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see them. They are extras. Extras endure hours and conditions that would make the average office worker shiver with fear, all for the hope that they might have their 15 minutes of fame and earn a glimpse of time on screen. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take a closer look at the job of the movie extra. A famous actor and actress are on a date walking down a sidewalk in a city. There are people walking, talking and

shopping in the background. The scene just wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look real with just the guy and girl walking in the middle of an empty city. So, you add a businessman with a briefcase getting off work, a mom with a stroller, an elderly couple going to dinner, a postman delivering mail, etc. The scene on the street just became similar to a sidewalk youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d see in any city in America. That brings realism to the set. Part of the success of a film project is achieving a goal originally set in literature. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s called â&#x20AC;&#x153;the willing suspension of disbelief.â&#x20AC;? That means that during this film, you are willing to set aside your doubts and believe that what you are seeing is real. With doubt and disbelief out of the way, you can watch a movie for two hours and actually believe in vampires and werewolves, believe that Tom Cruise really is a secret agent hanging by one foot from a rope while shooting 15 Russian mafia members, or even that superheroes are dawning our rooftops saving us daily from evil villains. To obtain this effect, you as an audience member must feel that what you are seeing on screen is comfortably accurate. The more people you see on a set, the more a crowd becomes real instead of a bunch of actors. That crowd must consist of ordinary looking people. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the job of extras. I mentioned above in my personal narrative about early mornings, extremely long hours and not so comfortable conditions for little pay and no recognition. Even with that understanding, I think you can see why someone would want to do this once or twice just to achieve their childhood dream of being in a movie. But why do so many people endure these conditions again and again? I have now been in 24 movies, television shows, and independent film projects in the last three years as an actor, an extra, stand-in, photo double, stuntman, and precision driver. I have literally worked with thousands of extras from Dallas to Austin to New Orleans, and I have found the basic reasons extras return time after time are all the same. Being an extra is the entry level position for the acting side of the film business. As in most big businesses, you have to start somewhere. If someone is serious about being an actor, working as an extra gets you on set so you can see how it all works. Just like any other business, it is all work, with methods, knowledge, and skills that you must learn to be successful. You may spend hours sitting in a chair as an extra, but you are watching professional actors, directors, and crew do their jobs. This is something that cannot be taught in a $3,000 a week acting class in Los Angeles. The set can be

used as a classroom for a beginning actor while they study their craft and acting methods watching established professionals. You may know a few extras that have done exactly that: Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and many more. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right. They all started out waiting in those uncomfortable chairs for hours for their few unspeaking seconds on screen. In my observations, another common reason I have found for someone working film after film as an extra is more fantasyminded. So many people have read and believe in the Hollywood glamour stories of â&#x20AC;&#x153;being discovered.â&#x20AC;? Let me tell you, it is possible, but for the most part this is a MYTH. The film business is just that, a business. How many people do you see take a job in the mailroom of a company such as Microsoft, get discovered the next week, and become a top executive with a high rise office and a secretary? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like that in the film industry either. You work extremely hard to climb the ladder as an actor, the same way you would with any other career. Confidence in yourself and your abilities is a must to be successful in any business, but a reality check is needed. I have seen many diva background actors (male and female) on set that have never had an acting lesson, have a horrible work ethic and an attitude of, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my dressing room trailer?â&#x20AC;? They cannot understand why the director has not seen their star potential. Why, with their natural talents and average good looks, they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have to take acting classes. I am thankful every time I have gone to set for the lessons I learned from my acting teacher Raymond Caldwell, founder of The Texas Shakespeare Festival. He not only taught students like Jaysen Dry, myself and so many others the approaches of Stanislovski, the Meisner technique, and improv acting, but he taught us the sincerity and honesty of the mirror. If you are 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;5â&#x20AC;?, balding and 20 pounds overweight, you can still be a great actor, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to get a role as a sexy leading man. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just that â&#x20AC;&#x153;realism thingâ&#x20AC;? coming into play again. What I am trying to say is this: if you want to be a background actor, be one and enjoy it. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pretend to be something youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not. Enjoy what you are doing right now. It takes years of hard work to be an overnight success. This brings up the most enjoyable group of extras you will find on a set: the ones who do it for fun. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hobby for them. Some choose to go to the golf course. This group chooses to go to the movie set. Usually this group is made up of retired

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acting people, the self-employed, or just someone who has a few days off with time on their hands. A person from this group is not wanting to be a star, doesn’t mind that they are getting paid $64 for eight hours work or that they will have to wait until all the cast and crew go through the catered lunch line before them. They sit in the waiting area and get to know each other. They come from diverse backgrounds and are interesting people with interesting stories. They are friendly. They laugh and have a good time while they are there. They get to watch Nicholas Cage acting in his newest role. They might even be asked to stand beside him or dance with him on camera. They get to see a vampire or werewolf in person. They get to eat an incredible meal for lunch – usually steak, grilled tuna, or chicken. The main thing is they are a part of something that will be seen for years to come. This is much better than sitting on the couch watching daytime TV or doing yard work. Movies and television are the center of entertainment for most of us on a daily basis. When was the last time you sat down on the sofa in the evening and did not turn on the television? Other than a few behind the scenes specials from HBO to promote a new movie, most have no idea of what actually goes on during the day-to-day grind of shooting a movie. If you’ve ever thought about being in the movies and have a day or two off, I encourage you to give it a shot as an adventure. A lot of film projects are being shot in Shreveport and Dallas. You may decide you want to be the next Brad Pitt or Katherine Zeta Jones. If not, you’ve seen things most Americans will only get to see on TV. As for the extras already out there working, next time you watch your favorite movie and see all those people dining in the restaurant in the background or running to get a safe distance away before the bomb goes off, give a little thought to those people who got up early in the morning and sat in the holding area for hours just to make you believe all this is real. From the diary: It’s early June and already extremely uncomfortable at 11 a.m. in the New Orleans warehouse district as the sun and humidity join forces to create what feels like liquid heat under this suit and tie. The casting director has chosen me from the roster of actors listed with the extras casting company because he liked “my look.” It’s a good opportunity for me as an actor to play a guest detective on the second season of TNT’s Memphis Beat. While they change camera positions, I am standing here talking about Elvis songs with the stars of the show, Jason Lee and Sam Hennings, as we all drink water to keep from dehydrating under the heat of the lights and sun. We’ve been shooting a scene all morning where we chase a bad guy through an old building. On the third take, I strained

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a calf muscle and am trying extremely hard not to let the director know in fear of being cut from the scene. I left Longview at 3 a.m. this morning to get here by call time. I am very sleepy. It is hot, and the sun is beating down. The director called in a lady from wardrobe to hold an umbrella over me between takes because I was starting to burn badly in the sun. There was no time for breakfast this morning because I was rushed through wardrobe and makeup, so I am starving. Speaking of makeup, it’s time to be reapplied for the third time as I continue to perspire profusely. When the day is wrapped, I will drive six hours back to East Texas because I have an appointment tomorrow. The director has just said we’re about to roll footage again. That means more running. My leg is on fire from the strain. If I can just get through this day and make it to bed, I will never do this again… you don’t believe that do you? I LOVE this! I would do this every day of my life. It’s what I’ve dreamed about since I was old enough to dream. I went from sitting in a holding area with 50 other people and standing in the middle of a crowd of 500 to being featured with the two stars and the guest star of this show. I am on the screen. I have worked my tail off for this for over two years. I am in the movies! I will survive. I don’t mind. Let’s do the running scene again – ACTION!!!

Post script: If you would seriously like to be an extra and have the time to do so, I recommend you register with Legacy Casting. Legacy casts extras in the Dallas and Shreveport areas. The staff of Legacy stays extremely busy. I beg you, please don’t waste their time if you are limited on availability or travel. If you are interested and available, find them on Facebook or their website at www.legacycasting.com. Break a leg, and have fun. See you in the lunch line!

Finding nature’s beauty in Edgewood, Texas On the Edge of the Piney Woods A coffee table photography book. Great for gift, souvenir or personal collection. Book’s physical dimension: 7”x7”, 120 pages, 100 color photos. Available in softcover, hardcover plus dust jacket, hardcover image wrap, and ebooks for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Presents

A Las Vegas style evening benefiting our museum. Cocktails, Dinner, Table Games Live and silent auctions for trips to Las Vegas, Super Bowl XLVII, Nashville’s 46th Annual Country Music Awards, Masters Golf Tournament 2013, NASCAR Nextel Cup, Sonoma Wine Country, Top Flight Experience, a baby grand piano, and more!

$75 per person RSVP by August 15, 2012

LMFA 215 E. Tyler St. • Longview 75601 903.753.8103 • www.LMFA.org

Available aila ila able forr p preview rev e iew an ev and nd p purchase urc chas h e at

ineg inegaleri.com/books galeri.com/books or contact Ine Burke at inegaleri@gmail.com for more information.

August 2012 - Page 29


news Information for Advertisers Our Mission Statement Locally owned, Piney Woods Live is a magazine for art lovers in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Art is defined as a product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. Piney Woods Live features articles about and for local artists with the objective of appealing to individuals with an interest in fine art, fine dining, and fine performances. Copies of Piney Woods Live are strategically placed where affluent, educated East Texans who want the best out of living can enjoy them. Live is more than an expression of the artist community it serves; it gives discerning readers a blend of in-depth art news, reviews, views on the business of art, as well as information on the artists themselves.

Content Artists may submit up 100 words plus a photo. Art events or venues may submit 300 or so words. All submissions must be in electronic format. Interested freelance writers or photographers should contact randi@pineywoodslive.com with ideas. Piney Woods Live reserves the right to refuse any content not suitable.

Distribution Piney Woods Live is a free publication with subscriptions available. It is distributed in twelve East Texas counties, most heavily in Smith, Gregg, Wood, Harrison, Upshur, Camp, and Franklin counties. An electronic edition is available online at www.pineywoodslive.com. Our subscribers by mail may be anywhere. Our distribution includes friendly saturation in downtown businesses in our coverage area plus museums, wineries, theatres, coffee shops, art galleries, chambers and select businesses and offices to maximize our ability to reach our target audience. We use paid contractors, volunteer footwork, non-profits, chambers, subscribers, advertisers and friends. Contact us at info@pineywoodslive.com to be added as a distribution point or to be a distributor in your area.

Ad Sizes (FP) Full Page 9.5 x 10.75

(18V) One-Eighth Page Vertical 2.34 x 5.35

(12V) One-Half Page Vertical 4.81 x 10.75

(14S) One-Quarter Page Square 4.81 x 5.35

(12H) One-Half Page Horizontal 9.75 x 5.35 (CP1) City Page 1 Column 2.34 x 3.5

(CP2) City Page 2 Column 4.81 x 3.5

(116S) One-Sixteenth Page Square 2.34 x 2.65

(18H) One-Eighth Page Horizontal 4.81 x 2.65

Upcoming Deadlines Issue Date September 2012 October 2012 November 2012

Ad Deadline August 10 September 7 October 5

Distribution Date August 23 September 20 October 18

To Get More Info... To contact an account representative for rates and other information, email info@pineywoodslive.com or call Suzanne at 800-333-3082.

August 2012 - Page 30

Longview gets its first ever tattoo and music festival Ink Life Tattoo and Music Festival’s final 2012 stop takes over the Maude Cobb Event Center August 24-26. The three day mega event for all ages features world-renowned and local tattoo artists doing what they do best. Get tattooed on the spot by over 150 of the world’s best tattoo artists like Spike TV’s Ink Master star James Vaughn and L.A. Ink star Amy Nicoletto! Come see the tattoo industry’s best clothing and merchandise vendors and the cast from Animal Planet’s hit show Pit Bulls and Parolees. There will be a Band Showcase competition, an incredible human suspension show by Atzlan Arts, a pole dancing competition, sideshows, live tattooing, tattoo contests, and live music all weekend featuring Candlebox, Days of the New and Grind - the world’s best Alice In Chains tribute band. Ink Life Tour is not your typical tattoo convention or exposition. It is the only tattoo and music festival event designed to attract today’s mainstream audience of tattoo enthusiasts by unveiling the latest tattoo trends from local and nationally acclaimed talent. Spectators will have the opportunity to get tattooed on the spot by

some of the best artists from all over the world under one roof. In Longview, participating tattoo artists will compete for bragging rights and trophies in over 20 categories. Several national publications will be covering this exciting event and featuring winning artists. They include Tattoo Magazine, Inked, and Tattoo Society. Ink Life Tour will continue its search for undiscovered talent with a Band Showcase competition. The winning band receives a $2,000 cash prize and a photo shoot with Inked Photography’s Ernie Bustamante. Enter for your chance to rock the house by emailing a link to your material to bands@inklifetour.com Tickets for this event can be purchased in advance at www.Inklifetour. com and will also be available at the gate. To reserve a booth or for sponsorship information, visit us online at www.inklifetour.com. For more information, please call Ink Life Tour at (866) 935-1822 or e-mail us at vendors@inklifetour.com

The East Texas Bonsai Society The East Texas Bonsai Society meets Tuesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. at Shannon’s Beading Basket and Artists’ Gallery, 207 N. Horaney St. in Longview. The meetings are free to the public. The society is a member of the Lone Star Bonsai State Society. A chapter meeting is held the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, call 903-242-9944.

Look for art and entertainment news, photo galleries and video online at

PineyWoodsLive.com! Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out our Events page! PineyWoodsLive.com


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Piney Woods Live August 2012